Monday, October 25, 2010


I wish to share a brief reflection on last night's meeting topic. But first, I will offer you an anecdote.

Upon my arrival home, I noticed a gigantic black spider in the garage in front of my car. It was huge and fast.

Being the man of the house, I always see the need to protect wife and child from such ugly foes. But, killing this beast was inconvenient for two reasons:

  1. There is a bunch of stuff in front of the car, and I didn't feel like moving all of it. Plus, the spider would've probably taken off at a great speed toward the dregs of my garage.
  2. Smashing it with my shoe would've been a huge, sick mess.
I nearly walked away, leaving the thing to roam about the basement, when I stumbled across a bottle of Spectracide - Weed Killer. Needless to say, I sprang into action, flipped the nozzle to "Stream," which is insect destruction language for "Kill."

I give the little guy credit. He managed to dodge the stream several times, and once hit, he ran around like a madman, before flipping over to his back and curling up in a ball.

Spectracide works well in scenarios like this one.

The Christian Event

When I taught in Denver, I had many conversations with Mr. Lenzini, my mentor teacher. He introduced me to this text from Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete:

"We become Christians because the Incarnation happened in history, because the Paschal Mystery happened, because Pentecost happened, and because those events continue to happen in the world today. They happen now because they happened then and because the Church exists in the world as the life of a communion of persons created by these events, and making them present today through the sacraments.

"They happen because Christ has risen from the dead and can be encountered today with exactly the same results experienced by Andrew, James, John, Peter, Mary Magdalen, the Samaritan woman, the man born blind, Zaccheus, and the criminal at the cross next to His. Something happened to them. It was an event. The key to the Christian life, the point of departure, is not an intellectual or cultural proposal. It is this event."

I love this text, and actually have it posted in my office above the computer, because it reminds me of two very important things:
  • The Christian Event (Christ's Incarnation, Passion, Death, and Resurrection) happened in history. These events changed the course of history. One man changed the course of history. This is an undeniable fact that I need to seriously consider. As Advent approaches, I hope each of us keep this profound fact, this event (an event is a true experience when it changes you - we have many events in our lives, but rarely enter into them, and thus are rarely changed, or experience conversion within our circumstances) at the center of our thoughts. The Incarnation transforms the way we understand God's love, teaches us how to be human, shows us where holiness lies, and how to become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4).
  • Christ is present today. He rose from the dead. Is it possible to wrap our minds around what that means? Not sure, but it's worthy of our lifelong effort. He died. He was gone. Buried even. Done. Christ's triumph over death (the death of the soul - hell - is sin's ultimate victory) is not even comparable to the biggest sports comebacks that leave me unable to sleep after they happen. And, due to the Resurrection, He is alive! He is present in our lives now. We know this through the Church, the sacraments, and the witness of those who are clearly animated by Someone much bigger than themselves.
Jesus Christ is the Event that changed history, and He is the one who changes our hearts that we might move history. Passive people don't make it into history textbooks. Albacete's next line reminds us of this point, as he says, "Evangelization is to give witness of our amazement at this unimaginable event."

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