Monday, September 12, 2016

Ransom and the Dimensions of Love

St Paul always seems to ask the impossible for us. Apparently, we have "to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge", to know the unknowable. Thanks a bunch!

Actually, what St Paul is doing is showing us that, as Christians, our conversion to Christ must always be ongoing.  There is no point at which we can sit back and say, "well, I've done all that I need to do." Our Salvation doesn't occur at a point in Time. It occurs in Eternity with God. Our lives themselves form only a fraction of our Eternity which is why who we are now matters. The secrets of our hearts form our thoughts, words, and actions which shape our being as something beyond even our own understanding. God's possibilities for us are endless!

We normally think of our space as being three dimensional, yet St Paul points out that God's love has at least four dimensions,"breadth, and length, and depth, and height, which the saints comprehend because their being has been lifted out of the constraints of Earthly Life into Heavenly Life. We begin to see the challenge of the Christian Life right here because our Earthly existence is constrained and small. In comparison with Eternity, and especially God Himself, we are insubstantial and riddled with a particular brand of insubstantiality called Evil.

We know that Evil is an absence of Good. It is an absence of God! As far as Existence goes, Evil is a hole, a void, a negative space that cries out to be filled. In monetary terms, a negative space in one's bank account is called debt. While we have Evil in us, we are in debt. In debt? To whom?

Well, to no one really, in the literal sense of the word "really"! While the Incarnation of Our Lord Jesus is indeed a ransom on our behalf, it is not an ransom to anyone. It is a debt of true existence which is paid by plugging the gap with the fulness of God in Christ. While we exist in sin, we exist in a half-life where our being is being torn apart by the evil within us, the evil we permit to be within us. We seek to be full, whole and actual. At the moment we exist like the ghosts in C.S Lewis' Great Divorce. We only obtain being from God Himself and it is He that give us our being, first as insubstantial beings then, as we seek to know Him, as beings of increasing substance, increasing fulness. It is through the cross of Christ that the gate to such substance exists for through the Cross, the substance of the Incarnation bursts into the imperfection of our substance as we open that imperfection to the Cross.

The Cross then opens the floodgates of Grace, pouring through the unification of Humanity and Divinity in the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Each time, we receive a sacrament properly, we are opening ourselves to the Grace of God which completes us, renews us and recreates us. Yet to receive any sacrament, we have to open ourselves to God so that His grace may indeed flood our lack of being. We have to acknowledge it, bewail it, and do something about it, for the gift is there: God has taken the first step of offering Himself to each one of us; He has given us the wherewithal to receive Him, and yet He sits and waits, running out to meet us when we say YES! to His most generous and loving offer and walking us back home, drawing us from our meagre three dimensionality into the four..., five..., six..., indeed numberless, dimensions of His love and reality.

Doesn't His love deserve a response? Let us earnestly and joyfully pray with St Paul "unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the Church by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end."


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