A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Oh, THAT person?

Every time an election year approaches, a poll will ask people to rank a particular officeholder against a nameless person from the opposing political party. Almost always the generic, nameless person does much better than any opponent with an actual name. One reason is that the named individual is a human being with a history and with imperfections, like all of us, while the generic opponent is a mythical creature with every virtue the mind can imagine.

That is why today’s Gospel is so significant. Jesus did not establish the Church through some vague association of likeminded people or mythical heroes. He chose twelve specific individuals: men with names, with life histories, and with imperfections. He chose them, gave them authority, and sent them forth.

One of the most beautiful things about our faith is what worldly people might think the most distressing. We believe that God works in human history and that God works through real human beings like us. God is transcendent and pure spirit, but he chooses to enter our world and act on the level of human experience. Although we may sometimes experience God in a purely spiritual way, the most important and perfect revelation and action of God happened in a particular time and place and in a particular man (true God and true man) Jesus Christ who founded his Church on the twelve particular men known as apostles. Were these men imperfect? Yes, but they were also empowered by our Lord to bring Him to the world.

To be sure, the imperfections themselves are not good things. Each of us must move as quickly as possible toward greater perfection and if, God forbid, the imperfection in one or another of us is one that causes damage, that damage must be prevented.

All of us are imperfect, and while we continue to strive for greater perfection, we are called to bring Christ to the world and receive Christ from those who were sent.