Having the Mind of Christ

Saint Paul’s definition of a Christian is a “being in Christ,” a term he uses 164 times in his letters. His point is clear, we who have been baptized have been grafted into the Body of Christ—the Church. The life we live is no longer our own, but “Christ” living in and through us, (See Galatians 2:20). Our Faith is centered on Jesus Christ, the “way, the truth and the life,” (John 14:6). The Church presents the teaching of Christ and we the members of His Body are called to both live and evangelize the world with the Good News of Our Lord.

Yet, sadly in our times, we often treat the Good News, the teaching of Christ as though it were one philosophy among many, rather than the saving truth of God. We tend to accept Christ’s teaching partially, accepting only what is not a personal challenge to ourselves.

Saint Paul in his letter to the Corinthians asked: “Is Christ divided?” (1 Corinthians 1:13), to a community fractured by division. The lack of unity that we often show in living and proclaiming the Gospel to those in our midst weakens our witness to the power of that same Gospel.

 Is it not time for all of us to turn once again our gaze toward Christ, to seek his forgiveness when we fail to embrace the Gospel entirely and to seek the aid of the Holy Spirit to empower us in our weakness and ignorance? Is it not time to turn our gaze toward Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar to adore in him the Son of God who deigns to come to us and to feed us with His Body and Blood to unite us ever more intimately with Himself? Is it not time for us to turn our gaze toward Christ “wherever he manifests himself, in his many forms of presence” (See Ecclesia de Eucharistia, Pope John Paul II)?

How many times a day do we miss an encounter with Jesus today? How often do we pass Him by on the streets, nursing homes, hospitals, and prisons,—not realizing that we are passing by the Son of God? How often do we spend time with him, praying before his presence in the Blessed Sacrament?

We who are “in Christ” need to once again turn our gaze towards him in our midst. We cannot stand by idly as he suffers his passion anew in those who suffer hunger, those who are strangers in our land as immigrants or the unwanted child in its mother’s womb, those who suffer illness and disease, those imprisoned—whether guilty or not—every created person is precious in the sight of God and God through the Body of his Son—the Church, holds out the hope of salvation to all, without exception.

We who are “in Christ” are called to champion their cause, to bring the Gospel to them and to all, to proclaim the Good News “in season and out of season,” to “ convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching,” (2 Timothy 4:2). For as Saint Paul wrote to Timothy, “the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths,” (2 Timothy 4:3-4). 

Pope John Paul II pointed out in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae that “we are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, death and life, the ‘culture of death’ and the ‘culture of life’. We find ourselves not only ‘faced with’ but necessarily ‘in the midst of’ this conflict: we are all involved and we all share in it, with the inescapable responsibility of choosing to be unconditionally pro-life,” (Evangelium Vitae, #28). It is time for all of us who are “in Christ” to be unconditionally pro-life—to take a stand for Our Lord, to make our voices heard.

            It is time for all Catholics to be of one mind and heart—the “mind of Christ” (See Philippians 2:5) and His Sacred Heart which beats with love for all of his children.

 

Some Seed Fell… is a column of the Office of the New Evangelization and Stewardship, by the director of the office, Michael Dubruiel

Word of God is Church’s Priority

Pope Benedict closes the Synod of Bishops and now we all await his document on their discussions.From Zenit:

Benedict XVI says the priority for the Church today is above all to nourish itself with the Word of God, so as to bring forward the new evangelization.

The Pope said this today when he closed the world Synod of Bishops on the Word of God.

He concelebrated the closing Mass with the synod fathers, expressing his desire that the conclusions of the synod “would be taken to every community,” so that “the need is understood to translate the word that has been heard into gestures of love, since only in this way is the proclamation of the Gospel made believable, despite human weaknesses.”

The Holy Father insisted various times on the importance of the link between hearing the Word and evangelization, as a fundamental point of the testimony of Christians around the world, especially with nonbelievers.

“Many people are seeking, perhaps without realizing it, to encounter Christ and his Gospel; many need to find in him the meaning of their lives,” the Pontiff said. “To give a clear and shared testimony of a life according to the Word of God, demonstrated by Jesus, is therefore an indispensable criteria for verifying the mission of the Church.

“It is necessary for the faithful to have wide access to sacred Scripture so that people, finding the truth, can grow in authentic love. This is an indispensable requisite today for evangelization.”

The Bishop of Rome also referred to the Gospel of the day on Christ’s commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. He affirmed that “the fullness of the Law, just as of divine Scriptures, is love.”

“One who thinks they’ve understood Scripture, or at least a part of them, without making the effort to build, through his intelligence, the double love for God and for neighbor, shows that in reality he is still far from having understood its profound sense,” he affirmed.

The Big Deal Again

Florida-Georgia game back to being a meaningful game. Last year I was at the game, sitting in the Georgia section–one of the Georgia fans quipped to me “bad seats, huh”…to which I replied “Nah, I figure by half time we’ll have this whole section to ourselves”–thinking that Florida would blow out a team that had barely beat Vanderbilt the week before and had been blown out by Tennessee–they reminded me of my words in the fourth quarter when they were still there and loudly cheering their victory. From Mike Bianchi in the Orlando Sentinel:

Why are Florida fans, players and coaches so mad at Georgia coach Mark Richt for telling his players to excessively celebrate after the Bulldogs scored their first touchdown in last year’s 42-30 victory over the Gators?

Florida’s players are clearly still upset about Georgia’s players swarming the field and getting an unsportsmanlinke conduct penalty following the Bulldogs’ first touchdown in the first quarter last year. Why else would they refuse to talk about it after the victory over Kentucky Saturday. And although Florida coach Urban Meyer says now that the situation is “old news”, he made his real feelings known in his recently released book — Urban’s Way — written with one of my sportswriting friends Buddy Martin.

“That wasn’t right,” Meyer said in the book. “It was a bad deal. It will forever be in the mind of Urban Meyer and in the mind of our football team. We’ll handle it and it’s going to be a big deal.”

And this is exactly why Gator Nation should be grateful to Richt just like I am: Because he’s managed to make this game a big deal again.

Richt has since apologized for the move, but I don’t think he has anything to be sorry about. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: It was a brilliant coaching move that not only turned around Georgia’s season, but may have rejuvenated Richt’s entire coaching tenure at Georgia.

It also put some much-needed juice back into a once-raucous rivalry that had grown stale and mundane.

For that and that alone, I’d like to thank Mark Richt.

And so should Georgia AND Florida fans.

%d bloggers like this: