The impertinence of spoiling the sublime PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 05 August 2016 14:34



Because of our weakened human condition, we have to be most wary of our tendency to spoil the sublime, to trivialize an indispensable thing, to take our eternal destiny lightly.

In one gospel episode, for example, Christ was already talking to his disciples about his impending death and resurrection, the culmination of his redemptive mission here on earth. And yet the disciples were more interested in finding out who among them was the greatest! (cfr Mk 9,30-37)

What impertinence, to say the least! And yet this impertinence can go on and on even until now when we are supposed to know better, what with all the education, formation and information we are receiving in this digital age of ours.

It’s not that we should be glum serious in this life of ours. Far from it! Christ wants us to be happy and cheerful, healthily engaged in the world in all our temporal affairs. But everything should be led toward that culminating sacrifice each one of us should make, following the example of Christ, our way, truth and life itself.

It’s the redemptive sacrifice that involves real pain, suffering and death, but it also guarantees our salvation, our reconciliation with God. It also makes sure that our love for one another is authentic, not fake. It is also the sacrifice that can sanctify all our earthly endeavors, irrespective of how they fare in earthly terms, making them acquire an eternal value, not just a passing one.

We need to be reminded about the real character and purpose of our life here on earth. We need to learn how to handle our weaknesses, our temptations and the distractions around. We have to avoid getting lost or pursuing a different goal in our earthly sojourn.

Most importantly, we need to learn how to relate everything to God.

Even in our most mundane and temporal affairs, where we enjoy a certain autonomy, we have to see the inherent link these affairs have with God.

Besides, we have to learn how to offer everything as a sacrifice, because that is what our life, and everything in it, is supposed to be. Everything has to be done and lived in the context of God’s love for us who asks for our correspondence by way of offering our whole life to him.

Let’s always remember that love is repaid with love. God has loved us first. We have to love him in return. He has given us everything, especially his mercy. We have to give ourselves completely to him—as much as possible. After all, everything comes from him and belongs to him.

Besides, our life offering cannot but involve suffering, since it is an offering that is done also in the context of our sinfulness that needs to be overcome and its effects and consequences to be borne patiently.

But we should not worry too much about all this suffering, since Christ, more than us, has already borne it for us and continues to bear it with us. Ours is simply to cooperate with him as much as we can. And so we can manage to suffer in silence, even in joy, just as Christ himself suffered in silence and joy in view of the resurrection.

For all this to happen, we need to see things with faith, more than just with our reason and much less with our senses alone. Faith gives us the global picture of our life, linking the here and now with our eternal destiny, the material with the spiritual, the natural with the supernatural.

Faith has to inspire all our temporal affairs so we can relate them to God who is our ultimate goal. Without faith, all our temporal affairs—our work, business, politics, our sciences and arts, etc.—would just be going around in circles, and often would simply be chasing after the wind.

For faith to develop and prosper in us, we need to have the mind and the attitude of a servant. That’s why in the gospel referred to above, Christ said: “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” This indication, to be sure, is not to downgrade us, but rather to upgrade us from our wounded selves.

Reiterating the same point, Christ also told his disciples to be childlike in terms of simplicity, total trust in God, docility, etc.

That’s why he said: “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me. And whoever receives me, receives not me but the

One who sent me.”