“Brothers and sisters:
We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained;
perplexed, but not driven to despair;
persecuted, but not abandoned;
struck down, but not destroyed;
always carrying about in the Body the dying of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.
For we who live are constantly being given up to death
for the sake of Jesus,
so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Since, then, we have the same spirit of faith,
according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,”
we too believe and therefore speak,
knowing that the one who raised the Lord Jesus
will raise us also with Jesus
and place us with you in his presence.
Everything indeed is for you,
so that the grace bestowed in abundance on more and more people may cause the thanksgiving to overflow for the glory of God.”
I often wonder if the Facebook culture in which we live tends to magnify the minutiae of our lives (“look what I’m having for lunch!”) and ignore the pain that characterizes every person’s life. For example, I have never seen a Facebook post saying, “We put Mom in a nursing home today” or “Our home was foreclosed on today.”
God is nothing if not realistic. His Word accurately reflects the good, the bad and the ugly of life on this planet. In the passage from Second Corinthians, quoted above, St. Paul characteristically doesn’t try to sugarcoat life on our account. He admits that he himself is perplexed, persecuted, struck down and afflicted in every way but never abandoned, destroyed or driven to despair. The reason he experiences his life in this way is because he understands, in a way most of us don’t, the Third Dimension of his life. That is, the Body of Christ (us) cannot be separated from the Head of Christ. Ever.
So, while we still suffer on earth as Christ did, we still live with Him in heaven. While we are constantly being given up to death in our bodies, our bodies are constantly radiating the resurrected life of Jesus to those around us. While we are daily humbled, in little and big ways, we are daily raised up to dwell with Christ as He comes to dwell in us through the Sacraments. “In Him, we live and move and have our being.”
So “everything, indeed, is for us”, as Paul says. The whole world has been oriented toward our belief and redemption! How then can we not speak? How can we keep from singing? How can we keep from sharing the truth of our Faith with everyone we meet during this Year of Faith, even on Facebook?