We live in a world infused with the reality of an Incarnate God. We live in the reality of Christ Jesus, who walked among us as a human. Who showed us by his life what it means to live transformed by God. Who showed us by his suffering and death what one can withstand with the strength of God. Who, by his resurrection, allows us to live each day aware that Christ dwells in our hearts, allowing us to live (in the words of the letter to the Ephesians) “filled with the fullness of God.” And filled with the power of God at work with us, we are “able to accomplish far more than all we ask or imagine.”
But, being able to accomplish God’s work through the power of God within us requires a choice on our part. A choice to live out of the reality of Christ dwelling within us.
No one forces us to engage in a transformation of ourselves or the world. We can choose to live our lives ignoring the reality of God within us. And some do make that choice. They live and breathe, eat and drink, work and play. They seek only the things of the world, measuring happiness and sadness by what they have and don’t have, achieve and do not achieve. They see nothing beyond the four corners of their human existence. Others do see, but they have a limited view of what it means to be a fully human and alive. They think God does everything by God’s self: we follow a few rules (go to church once a week, give some alms, and don’t violate the commandments) and God does all the heavy lifting.
The truth is that God invites us to do more. A lot more. God invites us to be co-creators of the universe to labor with God to transform all the world to Kingdom. God says: will you labor with me? Will you be all that you can be with me? Will you believe that together we can do more than you ever imagined was possible?
Ultimately God asks: Will you choose me?
As I reflected on that question, what came into my mind were the words of a contemporary translation by Joseph Tetlow, S.J., of the Anima Christi prayer:
I choose to breathe the Breath of Christ that makes all life holy.
I choose to live the flesh of Christ that outlasts sin’s corrosion and decay.
I choose the Blood of Christ along my veins and in my heart that dizzies me with joy.
I choose the living waters flowing from His side to wash clean my own self and the world itself.
I choose the awful agony of Christ to charge my senseless sorrows with meaning and to make my pain pregnant with power.
I choose You, good Jesus, You know.
I choose You, Good Lord.
Count me among the victories that you have won in bitter woundedness.
Never number me among those alien to You.
Make me safe from all that seeks to destroy me.
Summon me when I come to close my eyes in death. Summon me to come to You.
Stand me solid among angels and saints chanting yes to all You have done,
exulting in all You mean to do forever and ever.
Then for this time, Father of all, keep me, from the core of my self,
choosing Christ in the world. Amen.