THE STATE OF OUR UNION
On January 25th, President Obama gave his State of the Union address. Just one question: Is there any more stimulus money coming to an account near me? Some new socks would greatly improve my wardrobe portfolio.
It so happens that the President spoke of the state of our Union on the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. Somehow, I think that St. Paul might have more to say to us on our state than the President.
A blinding flash and a powerful voice turned St. Paul from one riding on a high horse of righteousness into a humbled man who was led forth in blind faith.
Ananias was sent to open the eyes of the newest Apostle to enable him to see what it was that he was going to suffer. A great introduction to the Faith: Welcome to Catholicism. Here’s what you will suffer Paul, now go forth.
Paul’s life was completely changed because his state of being was now one in union with Jesus. He would come to live, not as Paul, but as Christ within him.
Paul’s great moment of conversion was followed by a daily conversion fueled by renunciation of the world and annunciation of the Word of God. He knew that the race that he ran was to be filled with suffering, but he also knew that he ran for a crown that would never perish.
What is the state of our union? Are we running the race for crowns that last but a moment? Are we all about winning a future that gives us no real future? If we were shown all that we would suffer through greater union with Our Lord, would we continue to run the race?
On the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, the state of the union of our household of Mom and me was raised up by the visit of our parish priest, Father Hector Chiapa. In the spirit of St. Paul, Father sailed forth in his VW, braving the mud of our roads to bring us into greater union with Our Lord. He anointed Mom while she still lay in bed sleeping. He heard my confession and gave me Holy Communion. He opened our eyes to see that the sufferings of this life are not enduring and that the love of Christ is forever.
There is only one state that matters: the state of grace which is an enduring union with Jesus.
St. Paul, Apostle, Missionary, Martyr, pray for us.
Jezu, ufam Tobie.