Tuesday, April 16, 2013


   Jesus' resurrection was a creative, evolutionary event.  By rising from the dead, Jesus created a new world--a world evolved and elevated above the world he and all others lived in before the first Easter Sunday.  Through Pentecost and our individual baptism, we are made citizens of this new world.  And we have therefore acquired the gifts and responsibilities of our citizenship.

   This new world is a world created by God and filled to its height and depth with God's all-embracing love.  As the image of God, it is a world of creative, radical love--of ourselves, of all others and of all of nature.  As a Christ-ed world (see An Evolution Story) it is a world of healing and peace-making through self-giving, self-sacrificing, loving service, especially to the poor, sick and dispossessed.  

   It is a world of spiritually maturing persons and societies, of newly evolved and elevated education, politics, science, arts, etc.  It is not a world "out there" or "up there."  It is a world of here.  It is a world of now.  In the words of World War II, Lutheran martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Christ's new world shows "the profound this-worldliness of Christianity."

   But some will say, "This newly created, elevated world is not real.  It certainly is not the world we live in today.  Isn't that right?"   The answer is, "Yes and No."  Yes, it is a real world.  It is an "implicate" world, i.e., it is enfolded within today's world.  As Teilhard deChardin said,it is the "Within" of God's presence in and through the indwelling grace of Christ--a divine presence that makes the world the divine milieu.

   No, this newly created, evolved world has not yet been fully unfolded and made fully explicit.  In truth, it never will be fully realized here in space/time.  The wheat and the weeds will always grow side by side.  But that doesn't stop us,  As the People of God in Christ's newly created, evolved world, we are daily called and energized to unfold this world as much as we possibly can in the lifetime God has given us.

   With the election of Pope Francis, many Catholics, and even some others, are waiting for him to bring about a new unfolding of Christ's newly created, evolved world.  That, of course, will be good, if and when it happens.  But we don't have to wait.  For every person who sets off a bomb in Iraq, Afghanistan, Boston or elsewhere, there are literally millions of people of good will--of all religions and traditions--who are reaching out to others in healing love and peace right now.  We who are 21st century expressions of Christ have our own "citizenship papers" in Christ's newly created, evolved world.  Together with all people of good will, we can and must act now on our own spiritual initiative, and serve the people we meet every day.  To paraphrase words attributed to St. Augustine, "Become what you have received."

   People are suffering.  Waiting is not an option.

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