|Why is there a picture of a sofa here? Keep reading!|
"We are the Church," was the cool thing to say when I was young. Time has made it clear, however, that "we" have made rather a mess of things.
It would appear that Jesus is stuck with a sorry bunch of messengers.
Yet His love for each and every person is nothing short of miraculous. It is wonderful. It is transforming. And we are His witnesses. We want to be on fire with this love so that it can shine through. We want the change in our lives to show that miracles are possible.
Still, even those who aim high find that they fall short again and again. Should this be a cause for discouragement?
The "miracle" that people can discover when they look at our witness is not that we're "totally perfect" (we're not even close). Rather, what they can see is that in the midst of all our real flawed human lives, something is different -- there is Something Else that gives us hope, "Something" (SomeONE) for whom we live... or at least we try to live for Him.
I look at myself and it's clear that I'm so obviously mediocre, vain, and lazy that there must be Someone Else at work in me. There's no way I would "make this up" by myself.
I would make up the ultimate comfy sofa. Oh yeah!
But this man Jesus? He is not something I invented. He is not "my idea." He is real and He loves me and it's so beautiful that it's changing me.
And He comes to me in the Church, with its sinful ministers and my sinful brothers and sisters -- clearly not because they're so great, but because He has promised to remain with us here, to give Himself here in this particular reality of history that is not a club or a nation or an empire but the hope of everyone, the "Universal" (Catholic) reality of redeemed humanity, the sign and instrument of Jesus's love for every person.