“At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
Every night, as I examine what I have learned, I discover in my inner self a profound desire to live the next day; to know if I will be capable of allowing the wisdom of God to win the battle against all my sins and my foolishness so that I can be a less blurry reflection of his presence, for the rest of my life.
In the midst of turbulent sexual scandals caused by some brother priests, I have had the privilege to welcome into the church of Christ hundreds of men and women who were baptized and confirmed at Easter. All those catechumens and candidates have been searching for the light of Jesus in their lives. Even if we Christians have not been limpid mirrors of Jesus — we might have even made them stumble on the way — the distorted image of God in us continues to give them confidence to keep searching, in the hope that one day they will be able to run to the fullness of light.
At the same time, those joyful encounters helped me realize that as Christians, we live a never-ending Passover. The endless love of our God and Creator has equipped us with a powerful brain that is always searching for the truth. God has also given us an invaluable treasure that we call free will. The combination of these two elements in each one of us allows us to live ceaselessly amazed and ceaselessly stumbling: Our intellect says “yes” but our will says “no,” or vice versa.
In order to fulfill his passover, Jesus had to go through Calvary and the darkness of the tomb. It cannot be any different for us, his disciples, as we are sinners. Our sins create great areas of darkness in our minds and in our wills, which makes us walk much more slowly and more cautiously. Our “passover” to the promised land, to true freedom, seems to be endless and sometimes discouraging.
Getting to know all these new Christians gives me strength, and it renews my confidence to keep searching. Searching for new forms of purity and to show the world the beauty, glory and dignity of our sexuality. Jesus himself took part in it by taking our human form in Mary’s womb. Searching to discover new forms of human justice that highlight the supremacy of forgiveness and tenderness over vengeance. Seeking to gradually create new economic systems that allow us to rediscover money as a tool and not the lord of our lives or our only treasure in life. Seeking to hear the babbling of every baby that comes to this world looking to walk toward someone to call brother or sister. Seeking to see the tender hope of every mother who lulls her baby while thinking of his or her future full of peace, laughter and freedom. I’m sure that’s what Mary wished when she contemplated her newborn son, Jesus, in her arms.
Jesus, our Lord and Redeemer, fulfilled his passover. He left the tomb victorious; he defeated sin and death and now lives in the glory of the kingdom of heaven. Our “passover,” as Christian disciples, is not finished yet. Each of us has to continue to walk, striving day by day. Each of us has to keep standing after we stumble with envy, greed, laziness, lust, or anger. We must continue to follow the light of Christ that shines before us, drawing us to him, even when he does not show us all his radiance or the full image of the God who created us and continues to draw us to him.
Let us thank all the holy men and women who have persevered in their striving and by their example encourage us to continue searching, to continue reaching with the hope of grasping — new steps, a new passover of joy, gratitude, admiration and surprise at the unfinished future. A future that is always open to reveal a little more to us, until “God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28)
Mysteries are always both attractive and frightening. Such is the mystery of the love of God that continues to accompany us in the dead and risen Jesus.
Seeking, let us keep walking together.
Read the Spanish version of this column.
Northwest Catholic - Mayo 2019
Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., is auxiliary bishop of Seattle and vicar for Hispanic ministry.
Eusebio Elizondo, M.Sp.S., es obispo auxiliar de Seattle y vicario para el ministerio hispano.Website: www.seattlearchdiocese.org/Archdiocese/auxiliaries.aspx