Monday, November 04, 2002

Some Thoughts

I recently heard someone say a quote attributed to the late Bishop Sheen: "Christ spent thirty years obeying, three years teaching, and three hours redeeming." I have found the quote utterly fascinating. I've begun to wonder whether too often we see these events of Christ's life as disconnected, or that the first two for some reason should be discounted. I say this in no way to diminish the importance of Christ's work on the Cross. Instead, I mean to suggest that Christ's work didn't begin on the Cross and that it was no doubt a part of his life from the start. Moreso, I think the quote offers us a view into the reality of all of our lives. There is a large portion of it spent living out the vocation to holiness in the ordinariness of life. Then there is a period of a more specific vocation, with a shorter period (or maybe just a moment) with a vocation of unique particularity. Too many of us live our lives as if we are in a holding pattern waiting for that big moment in which we will live out that great mission that is ours. When we think like that we need to remind ourselves that Christ spent thirty years of his life as a child, a neighbor, a carpenter. Surely we can draw from that something about the importance of ordinary life! Similarly, when we discount the life of Christ prior to his ministry or his redemption of us on the Cross, we tend to lose sight of the fact that our vocation of unique particularity, as I have dubbed it, may not have the explicit drama or "bigness" as that of Christ's. (Although the disciples didn't understand the nature of Christ's mission until after the risen him explained it to them.) It may be far more subtle by earthly measures, but no doubt has eternal significance. Maybe it's a conversation that only you might be in a position to have with another. Okay, no more to say on this. Again, still pondering the quote.

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