Asking ourselves about what we cling to or grab for is always telling. Sometimes it is a false security that money or power seems to give us. At other times, it is relationships, even if they are not working for us, our families or our faith. Whatever it is that grabs hold of us needs to be examined in the light of what St. Paul tells us about Jesus, who clings to nothing, not even his Godhead. This startling assertion by St Paul has been the source of reflection and prayer for Christians from the beginning of Christianity.
Paul is helping us remember that when Jesus claims the role of a pilgrim with no place to lay his head, he is offering every Christian an important image and challenge, one that forces us to reexamine our priorities and live, not as if life will last forever, but with gratitude for each day God gives us. Although it might seem maudlin to some that today may be our last of earth, it is also a simple fact, one which reminds us to live each day in faith and with the realization that God is always near.
No matter how we try to parse it, life as we know it does not last forever. Death is either a terrifying reality looming on the near horizon, or another stage in the life of a believer. Because faith gives us the certainty that life is not ended by only changed, we need cling to nothing as Christians but the sure and certain hope that the Lord has gone before us to prepare a place for us.
Today, live as fully as you can with gratitude and hope.
Have you had an experience that reminded you of life’s brevity?