Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
September 18th, 2010

Barbara Dilly

Department of Sociology and Anthropology
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Memorial of St. Robert Bellarmine, S.J.
[448] 1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49
Psalm 56:10c-12, 13-14
Luke 8:4-15

All of the lessons for today remind us that there is something quite different from the natural body and the spiritual realms of our being.  But because we are so firmly locked into our natural bodies, we often let that realm of our experience dominate our realities.  And despite the problems associated with our natural bodies, we like to hold on to them and would even like to have them back in the same form again when we are resurrected.  We are really quite fond of our earthly selves.  Paul tries to help us to get past that hang up and to think of our futures in terms of the spiritual.   He tells us that we are not going to be resurrected in our earthly forms, but something a lot better.  I am old enough to be pretty glad about that.  My body has all sorts of aches and pains.  Focusing more on the spiritual is getting a lot more appealing for me now that it is quite clear that my natural body is pretty fallible.   

But just because I would rather be resurrected in a spiritual form that is not subject to the corruption, dishonor, and weakness of the natural body that I now inhabit doesn’t mean that I am able to operate above the limits of the flesh in this world.  I still cling to the frail flesh despite the fact that the psalmist says we have already been rescued from this weakness.  If we reflect on the fact that we have already been rescued, we should feel the spiritual presence of God so much a part of us in this world that we won’t fear the death of the natural body or any of the weaknesses that go with it.   Reading the Psalms, especially the verses for today, can help keep us focused on our priorities here.  Rather than thinking about our weaknesses, we should stay focused on walking in the spiritual presence of God.  That is where we find life. 

Jesus reinforces this central vocation for God’s people to center ourselves in the spiritual.  “Now hear this,” he says.  We can enjoy the presence of God and the knowledge and the mysteries of the Kingdom of God here and now in our earthly bodies if we will embrace the word of God.  Jesus tells us that we need to be like the rich soil that God’s word feel upon and took root, producing good fruit.  We are to be careful that we do not get choked out by anxieties and pleasures of the flesh that distract us from the task of producing good fruit in the Kingdom of God.  Nor should we let the word of God fall on rocky ground and not take roots.  That seems straightforward enough, but it doesn’t seem to help us with our fear of death; our own and those of our loved ones.  We won’t really hear Jesus until we get rid of our fear of death.    We have to transcend the natural in favor of the spiritual in order to have eternal life. 
As I reflect on this problem of our natural human condition, I am struck by how few of us really have been able to weed out the anxieties and the pleasures of the natural world that target our natural beings.  Knowledge of the mysteries of the spiritual realm has been given to us in the Gospels and the ancient promises in Psalms and the parables but it is often difficult for us to understand.  While all we need to do is embrace the Word of God and bear fruit, it is not that easy to do.  It does indeed take perseverance.  Today I pray that we as God’s people will help each other persevere with generous and good hearts.  Amen.

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