A Better Me #1: Our Real State after Baptism

I send you a first attempt of, hopefully, a consistent weekly note.  We all need a good theological and philosophical formation and I ask God to help you to use the note as assistance in your interior and exterior life.

We are going to begin by presenting a part of the “structural” analysis of the position, the “where” we are after we are baptised.

Through God’s Love, the death of the Father’s Son Jesus on the Cross brought about the reality of a “new human being”, a “new man”.  Jesus not only came forth as resurrected from the tomb, but God made it such that humanity itself, through Baptism, would be reborn, “revivified”, “recapitulated” in Him.  The “new baptized man” became part of the Mystical Body of Christ.  Christ is the Head and all of those validly baptised are members of His Mystical Body.  This “new man” sprung forth from Jesus on the Cross when the Roman Centurion pierced Jesus’ side with a spear and from His heart there flowed “blood and water”, signifying the Holy Spirit and the Sacraments of the Church.

God planned to promote His glory first by creating, and then by divinizing His rational creatures.  At the very moment when Jesus becomes our Savior, we become potentially alive in Him. Through Baptism we become members of His newly formed Mystical Body.  This means that we obtain many things in common with Jesus by participating in His Body.  We are crucified with Him, buried with Him, raised from death with Him.  We share His death, His new life, His glory, His reign, His inheritance. The members of the Mystical Body, through their union with Him, are called to share by participation, in the same glory of its Head.  The Church was the reward that God the Father held out for the great trial of Christ.

Before His death, Christ himself possessed all of the grace of Salvation for us.  But His passion, death and resurrection made it such that the grace could be communicated to us from Him.  Baptism makes us alive and living in Christ.  Then the grace in His Body can flow to us through the Sacraments.

As a member of Christ’s Mystical Body, I am an “instrument” for the perfection of the body. Think for a moment of one’s human body.  Everything works in it for the body’s health and fufillment. In Christ’s Body, the Church, the same process should occur.  It doesn’t matter whether I am a muscle, a toe, a nerve, a hand: all work together for the health and growth of the body.  

Now, move your attention over to Christ’s Mystical Body.  You need to have the same “vision” and “sense of responsibility.”  In our natural family, we are united through blood, DNA, etc. In our supernatural family, we are all in Christ’s Body, and related to each other through grace, charity and our union with Our Lord, the Holy Spirit and God the Father.

How do we act as “instruments” of this Body?  Well, think again about the physical body.  Everything acts for the good of the whole.  In the Mystical Body, the good of the whole is the will of our Head who is Jesus, and then the action itself gives glory to God the Father.  We are working in Jesus to give glory to God the Father and to promote and reflect the Love of the Blessed Trinity.  As human persons living in Christ’s Mystical Body, we are perfected and fulfilled by giving ourselves in Christ to others.  We give ourselves by offering ourselves: our time, our actions, our work, our relaxation, our thoughts, our desires, etc.— all in Our Lord’s Body, and for, first of all  our loved ones in His Body, and then also for people who are not yet members of His Body.

This “offering” is through prayer, little (and at times big) sacrifices,  our actions (such as our work, our acts of friendship, communication, understanding, tenderness, etc.)—all of this is done in and through Our Lord.  Our Lord takes all of these offerings in Himself and presents them to God the Father in the Mass, and these gifts of Our Lord result in grace flowing to ourselves and to others for whom we ask.

There are many other things to understand in regard to the working of Christ’s Mystical Body, but I want to bring to your mind one in particular: namely that we have to understand our role in “carrying the weight of others.”  St. Paul gave us the go-ahead: “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ.” (Gal 6:2)  You and I, as members of Christ’s Mystical Body, have to bear the burdens, which are often faults and differences of other members of the Body.  (Remember, this is how the human body members work.)  

How do we do this?  Make others feel important; avoid passing judgments; learn to overcome aversions; be vigilant against becoming resentful; harbor no grudges; resist any thoughts of revenge; regard the person, and each person, as better than you; strive to suffer graciously; exercise patience; resist curiosity; avoid negative thoughts and expressions; have kind, positive thoughts, avoid gossip, slander and detraction, radiate peace and joy always, and many other actions.

We carry their burdens because we offer all of these actions for the persons themselves and for the faults and actions they may have that can lead us to offer prayer and sacrifice.  Remember, that person is a member of my Body, which is Christ’s Mystical Body.  As such, that person is closer to me than those of my natural relations.  I want her/him to be happy as a saint in Christ’s Body!  When I see Christ with faith in the Blessed Eucharist, that person is there in His Mystical Body with me.  We are in the same Body and we need to help each other to make that Body loving and a source of God’s glory.

Obviously, as we try to live this way, we take on more and more the aspects of the personality of Jesus.  This is only fitting for the members of Christ’s Body.  The Holy Spirit inside of us makes it such that we become “other Christs” and at times even Christ Himself, but always at the same time keeping our own personhood.  Then we also come to realize that what we do and how we live our lives is very important.  We see what is at stake and what can be accomplished in each one of our daily actions.

Our Blessed Mother Mary will help us. She is always with us and she is also always there with her Son as He gives Himself in His Mystical Body to us. What an amazing role she plays in the reality of her Son’s Mystical Body.  Hand in hand, heart in heart, let’s be with her.

Join me next week and feel free to share with a friend.

Yours in Christ,

Fr. John

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