Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Word for the Season: grace.... the spiritual superglue that binds us to Jesus.

A Word in Season? It's grace. The gift that was wrought by the Pascal Mystery. This week's column at Patheos taps into the mystery behind the joyous smiles we find captured at First Communions, Church weddings, and other sacramental celebrations...

The photographs are trickling in to my inbox, the Facebook page, and via the mail. You know the ones: the happy faces of tender beauties in white veils, the dandy gents in ties and jackets, the Confirmandi in Sunday best, the tiny babies in satin and lacy gowns, and the new look of freshly starched collars or religious habits coming into view. I just love looking at all those smiles. They inspire me.
‘Tis the season for the fullness of Easter joys found in the sacraments that tend to fill up the weekends in May and June. From the Baptisms and First Communions, to the Confirmations, Ordinations, and Marriages… It’s enough to get us choked up, or pushing back wistful tears.
We delight in wiggly babes being sprinkled, doused, or immersed, just as much as try to take in the joy of someone receiving their Lord in Holy Communion for the first time. We stand in quiet awe witnessing the professions of faith, the anointings, and the taking of vows to love, honor, and serve God, and one another. Even the most cynical can momentarily suspend reservations for the sake of the loved one who invited them to come to church for the celebration… reminding us that hope is something we all can intuit, even if in tiny glimpses.
Sacraments make up the treasured memories of life, the good times that sing out the Good News. They are reminders of the mystery of grace… the gift of God’s Love made visible. The intangible Presence becoming known.
The Something More we secretly hope for and yearn for is Right Here.
To me, these are most hopeful signs of a new springtime… the outpouring of grace is flowing somewhere right now from the Seven Sacraments even as we behold this moment.
Grace is the spiritual superglue that binds us to Jesus Christ -- the stuff of heaven that touches and transforms our mere existence into living well, regardless of our circumstances. I often try to picture it as God’s long arm reaching down to earth to hold us and buoy us along until he can draw us into an eternal embrace face to face.  
There's more here.

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