B. Reflection & Dialogue: Need of true vision to sustain Christian life
A vision of a nation’s or individual’s past or future is a potent aid toward inspiration towards action. Empires of remote and less remote past have created past history for themselves, sometimes enshrining it in great literature, visions, even if imaginary, which inspired and justified imperial conquests. We may pass from civil and profane history to the Bible and the history of salvation, where the sustaining vision for the present and the future is belief in the living God. From today’s first reading we can see how the divine vision of a better, even glorious, future sustained Israel of old. It was God’s vision for them, and what was foreseen, or foretold, was far removed from their then present reality. Jesus preached that the kingdom of God was very near; at times Gospel texts say that he said it was present. It was future, very near and present all at once – present in the healing activity of Jesus and of the Apostles and others he had commissioned to preach the good new of the kingdom. Paul, too, preached the kingdom of God, the conquest of human weakness, but was aware that this work of salvation could not be a reality without union with the mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection.
Today we need to reawaken our vision of the kingdom of God, present and coming in the Church. Our vision of the Church must be that of the Bible, of Paul and the epistles to the Colossians and the Ephesians. The Church as a sacrament is what believers are called to be, and can become through union with the death and resurrection of Christ, as Paul insists on in today’s second reading. Today there are so many voices that would have us look on the Church in her weaknesses, in the scandals of some of her members. We should resist the temptation to so consider the Church. She is the universal sacrament of salvation. Through her God and Christ should be seen as addresses their saving message to the world of our day.