Wednesday, June 07, 2006

a reflection on today's Lectionary readings: transformation bodily and spiritually

Based on: 2 Timothy 2:8-15 and Mark 12:28-34

An attribute of being alive is change. Something is living because it undergoes change, transformation, development. An embryo is alive and therefore it develops and matures; a seed, after some watering, will sprout because it has life within it; and our bodies throughout the years transform, change--indicative of our biological life.

If this is so physically, this is also true spiritually. The sign of our growth and maturity in the spirit is moral and spiritual growth. And this means conversion: putting to death sin, and living in God--being transformed daily, being renewed.

Paul was a person who underwent tremendous change and transformation in his life—from a zealous man who persecuted the Church to a faithful follower of Jesus and evangelizer: And in his letter to Timothy, we hear from him an essential element in spiritual growth and spiritual transformation—and that is the Spirit: “I remind you,” Paul writes “to stir into flame the gift of God that you have.” And then he adds, “he has saved us and called us to a holy life....through Jesus who destroyed death and brought life and immortality to life.”

As we continue to allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit, the Spirit of love and forgiveness and gentleness–as we continue to allow the Spirit to convert us---we continue to grow and to move spiritually. It is fitting that the Biblical images for the Spirit always involved movement and action–either as tongues of fire, or the rushing waters in a river, or the blowing wind. Because all these images evoke movement, dynamism, life.

“He is not God of the dead but of the living,” Jesus said in today’s Gospel. He is God for those who are alive. He is God for us who are alive because we share in His living Spirit and because we are being transformed spiritually.

But not only that--on the last day we will also be transformed bodily, sharing in the glorious body of Christ at our resurrection. “When they rise from the dead,” Jesus said of us ”they are like the angels in heaven.”

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