Fr. Francis Scaria
Coherence is basic to spirituality. It is as essential as spirituality itself. Jesus stunned Nicodemus when he said to him, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born from above” (Jn 3:3). The instant but seemingly natural reaction of Nicodemus was expressed in his question: “How can anyone be born after having grown old?”
It is a fact of life that we are all part of the process of growing old. The colour of our hair is often indicative of this process. Some of us may try to meddle with such an indication by using hair dye, but the fact that is indicated by the actual colour of the hair remains. With the old age setting in, people gradually lose vigour and strength. People speak of the ‘good old days’. A long past is left behind and a sense of very little time to look forward to creeps in. In the eyes of our world, an old person is one who has had a long past and a short future. The older we become, our future is shortened and our past enlarged.
Who on earth will not like to remain young and vibrant always? All of us would like to maintain our youthfulness all the time.
Contrary to the worldly views, a Christian is one who has become aware that he has a lot more in store for him than the days already spent. Hence a Christian is never old.
Besides, a Christian is one who encounters the Lord who makes everything ever new (cf. Rev 21:5). He is one who has heard the promise of his God telling him, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will give you a heart of flesh” (Ezek 36:26). St. Paul says, “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Cor 5:17). In his letter to Galatians, he says, “Neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything; what counts is a new creation” (Gal 6:15).
Pope John XXIII had spoken of aggiornamento as the very purpose of the Second Vatican Council. It simply meant making the Church relevant for the everyday life of human beings. If the Church is not renewed every day, she fails to be Church. Her Master and Lord continually calls her to renewal. If she does not hearken to the voice of the Lord, she fails to be His treasured Bride. The Spirit of the Lord constantly arouses and permeates her with the rejuvenating divine vitality, vivifying every sphere of her life.
The Church is always young and forever new.
MUSINGS : 1-25,