Sunday, April 08, 2012

The Day of Resurrection 2012: The Dignity of the Human Condition

Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

There is in the world today a terrible tendency to look at human beings in a terribly negative light. Many scientists are beginning to regard human beings as mere biological machines which have all the illusions of self-knowledge and some ability of self-delusion in believing itself to be something special before collapsing into a bundle of fatty acids and proteins when they came.

Any joie de vivre is spawned from some belief that this is all there is, and it is better to learn to be happy because the darkness is coming to put a stop to it. In the West, there is a hatred of old age, because old age is a reminder that the joy of living will be slowly extinguished before the end comes.

Others see human beings as corrupt despoilers of Earth, the ultimate parasite destroying whole ecosystems. They see proliferation of wars and violence, endless political wranglings, intercommunity hatreds and battles, and they conclude that humanity is intrinsically evil. They see little in human achievement which is merely the product of anthropological societal construct, convention and evolution.

Others look out into space at the massive structures of the universe, calculating sizes in millions of parsecs, billions of light years and working on scales of galactic clusters and they see human beings as a meaningless speck of insignificance in the void that exists for a glimmer before oblivion finally envelopes it.

Yet, the Resurrection says otherwise.

If we believe in a God that creates, then we believe in a God that wants to create.

If we believe in a God that wants to create, then we believe in a God that willingly decided to create human beings.

If we believe in a God that willingly decided to create human beings, then we must believe that He has some regard for our being.

We have been willed to exist by One who defies our understanding. We have been placed here on earth amidst the complex circling of the arches of the heavens, to evolve and grow according to the elegant rules of organic structures, and to live our lives with each other as independent units seeking understanding, to investigate and enjoy. We seek meaning because there is meaning to seek. And the Resurrection is proof.

We are fallen. Our choices are wrong. They affect others. They hurt others. Sometimes we care because we see that pain and feel it. Sometimes we don't because we are obsessed with our own pain. But God, in His absolute love for us seeks to free us from the pain of our choices by irradiating the entire universe with His love and by transforming it with His very being. We receive our existence from the existence of God. We share it with Him and Our Blessed Lord's Resurrection shows us that we are invited to share, not just Existence with God but Life with God.

We have been given the choice. Either we refuse to see any good in human beings, refuse to see in the Crucifixion the price of true love, ignore the mystery of the incarnation thus fulfilled through the cross and beyond into the Resurrection, or we realise the full potential of this event which rocks history to the core. When Christ commands us to love our neighbour as ourselves, He is not just telling us to do something, He is also inviting us to see others how He sees them and this is a participation in His existence. In commanding us to love God with all our being, He is inviting us to see in Him the source of all love and to be a part of that love in Creation. The Cross and Resurrection stand together as two fulfilments of physical and spiritual natures and as two ends of a tunnel through Death into a perfected life.

This is the promise and it is the promise of a God who regards human beings with such dignity that He respects their choices even if they hurt Him. Here we stand at the cross-roads. Do we turn back or move forward. Of course we move forward, but let us move forward in joy as well as penitance. Our penitence is temporary, but our joy is eternal.

May God richly bless you this Paschal time and forever.

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