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Run so as to win. ( 1 Cor. 9:24 )

刊登日期: 2012.11.25
作者: Fr. Thomas Au 區耀邦神父  

Oscar Pistorius did not win the 400 meters in the 2012 Olympic Games. Where did he win a gold medal in a 400 meters event?

In the 2012 Paralympics with the time of 46.68 seconds, and the 400 relay in 41.78, both new records.

To any runner, the relay event is a much tougher race. It requires not only that each individual runs his best, but that he also has a flawless exchange of the baton. 

Similarly, in the Catholic Church, the hope of our faith is not just an individual desire. Jesus gave us the Church as His Mystical Body. Take a few moments to read Eph 4: 1-6.

In verse 3, St. Paul tells us that we have ONE call, “striving to preserve the UNITY of the spirit through the bond of peace.” This UNITY, he continued throughout his letters, is for us to be together in the unity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Because we are created in His image, we are to be like Him. This, God intends to achieve, for us all, through His Son’s dying on the Cross.

We adore You, O Christ.

Because by Your Holy Cross, You have redeemed the world.

The Cross, to us Catholics, is our source of Hope.

To me, it seems very strange, that non-Catholic Christians let go of the Crucifix and opt for a simple Cross to emphasize the Resurrected Christ. When we look at the Crucifix, we are reminded of the price of Love and the Promise that comes with it. This is our worth.

I’d like to digress here a bit. When I work with people with depression, however temporary or long term it may be, I try to draw them back to the Cross. “Look at the Cross each day,” I tell them. “Know that you are loved, and think about what you mean to Jesus.” A person depressed looks at everything hopelessly. But the Cross gives them an anchor on hope that they do not have by themselves. That is why Christianity is so essential to struggling people, whatever the cause of hardship. 

“I will never forget you, my people.” (Is. 49)

So, when we study the Bible, the retelling (therefore, history) of God’s intervention into the lives of the Jewish people, we can call them the “chosen people of God.” They are chosen not because of any particular privilege or status. They are chosen because God wants to use them to be His instrument, His teaching tool, to tell the whole world of His love for us. In the New Testament, God completes His lesson – with His Son and the appointing of the Church as the New Israel. Now, there are no national or ethic boundaries. All are restored in Christ. Through Baptism, we have now become the Chosen People of God.

On our part, we must run our relay with focus. We must be sure that we do not run only our leg of the relay, even if at our very best. We must also make sure to hand on the baton, the most difficult part of the race. And the Church has been doing it for 2000 years! Not always successfully, faithfully, with dedication or lovingly. Yet, in every age is the same Call, the same Vocation, because God is faithful, dedicated and loving. That is the amazing story of God. He does not abandon us even when we fail. He keeps urging us to strive on. He will not give up on us even when we give up on ourselves or others.

This is why the Christian “mentality” is so different from other religions; and also different is the affect they have on the culture, which I’d like to write on next. 

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