Thursday, September 15, 2011

Life Is Like Jesus' Ascent to Jerusalem

The more I read about and reflect on our Christian faith, the more I'm convinced that life is like Jesus' pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It is an ascent to the Holy Temple where God dwells. The ascent is external and geographical: from the low-lying Sea of Galilee area (690 feet below sea level) to Mount Zion (2,500 feet above sea level.) It is also internal and spiritual: Jesus going up to his Cross out of obedience to the Father. 

As Jesus' followers, our external ascent is in our journeying to the Heavenly City of Jerusalem, i.e. what people mean by "heaven." What is more important though is our "inner ascent" that is accomplished only in our acceptance of self-offering, hardships, and sacrifices, and in our willingness to go up to our cross and share the Lord's suffering and self-offering out of love.

(Inspiration: BXVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Part II, p.2.)

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Best Amazing Grace

Definitely the best Amazing Grace that I've ever heard! The solo parts are deep, meditational, and filled with emotions: fear, a dark night waiting for the dawn, a lost soul longing for the truth....

But when the four men join force to sing in unison, it's like a huge explosion! It's thunderous, pounding on your heart until it's about to burst; it's overpowering, igniting your soul until it rises from its deep slumber. It's as though you were witnessing the splendour of the very first moment of Creation!

"When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shinning as the sun. We've no less days to sing God's praise than when we've first  begun." With the Scottish bagpipe bellowing in triumph and images of the Roman Colisium swiveling in the background, it's like two thousand years of Church history - the Apostles, the saints, the martyrs, the Church Fathers, the persecutions - are encapsulated in one moment of truth, in one unbelievable manifestation of the dignity of the human spirit. When it is all said and done, the listener is left speechless and totally awe-stricken!

(Copy and paste the above link onto your browser if clicking on the above doesn't get you there.)