I come from a musical family and I picked up some of those tendencies as well. I played trombone a large portion of my life and recently I’ve been teaching myself how to play the piano. I got so good at playing the piano that a handful of times in the seminary I played for the community at evening prayer. The songs I played were things I practiced seemingly a million times, but so well that I could play it from memory. To this day those handful of songs I learned to play in the seminary I can still play from memory. What I had to be careful about was that you can easily memorize mistakes in the piece of music. It didn’t matter so much to me as the mistakes were minor, and probably not noticeable. However, if I was seeking to do it professionally I would need to clean that up and not make those mistakes.
The fact that I can play those pieces of music from memory is a sign of a pretty powerful mind that we have. When we do something often it becomes a part of us and we can do it without much thought. However, this too can be dangerous because we can do it without much thought.
I think of something in our faith that we pray every Sunday when we come to mass. The creed that we will pray soon is very common to us, especially if we are in the habit of praying a daily rosary. It’s easy for us to pray this prayer from memory and not give it much thought. However it is the foundation of our faith and explains many of the central truths that we believe. Our challenge is do we believe we are praying and how well do we understand it?
One of those truths is I believe in the resurrection of the body. Both the nicene creed and the apostles creed speak about this truth. St. Paul in the second reading today also speaks about this truth. He tells us that we are awaiting for adoption the redemption of our bodies. Something that is even more amazing is the entire creation is waiting for the redemption of the children of God. What Paul is speaking about is the promise of future resurrection, not only of our souls but our bodies as well. Again what is amazing about this truth is that God will not only redeem our bodies but he will create a new heaven and a new earth where they will be no decay, no death, and perfection.
To put as simply as I can when we profess in our faith that I believe in the resurrection of the body this is what we are professing our faith in. That one day God will redeem us and redeem our bodies. Not only that he will redeem all of creation. St. Paul says that we are waiting eagerly for this. The redeemed world will be something beyond all of our imaginings and something glorious.
A question we may have is what can we do now and how can we prepare ourselves for the redemption of our bodies and souls? The best thing we can do is grow in a deeper relationship with our Lord. One thing we can all do is deepen our relationship with the Word of God. We hear a-little about this in our Gospel. What is the soil like of our souls? Are we like the soil of thorns or of rocks, or is our souls like that of rich soil that when we hear the word of God we understand it and act on it. One simple way we can better prepare ourselves for the resurrection of the dead is to have a deeper relationship with the scriptures and read the scriptures more often. God calls us to understand the scripture, how can we understand what we don’t read and don’t meditate on. I’m reminded of Saint Jerome who said, “ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ.” Challenging words for us to hear, but his words are true.
There are certain things in our lives that we do without giving much thought into it. I hope that when we pray the creed we don’t fall into this danger. The truths contained in the creed are important for us to know and understand. I hope that we can truly profess our faith as we are about to pray these words as a part of the mass.