“Quo Vadis?”, Latin for “Where are you going?” A question of direction and destiny. Where are we going? What is our end and purpose?
I would venture to say that, humanly speaking, we have one primary end: close, loving relationships with significant others. Of course, very important and often satisfying in our lives are our activities of creativity and productivity as well as our communal involvement. But, as Aristotle said back in 350 BC, and as human experience still seems to confirm, “Without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods.” (Nichomachean Ethics, chapter 7).
As Christians, we have another destiny, in addition to this. We are called to relationship with the Significant Other, through Christ, in the power of the Holy Spirit. All humanity is called to this, but we who call ourselves Christians have the privilege of more deliberately and consciously entering into it. It is indeed a privilege, not a right. It does not make us humanly better than other people; it makes of us servants who know that they are loved.
In the Letter to the Ephesians, dated approximately 62 AD, St. Paul articulates our divine destiny is as Christians. It is unbelievable—or, better, believable, thanks to the gift of faith! Below are excerpts from this Sunday’s incredibly rich second reading, the opening to the Letter to the Ephesians (1:3-14), a flood of luminous insight:
God…has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places…to be holy and blameless before him in love.
He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In him we have…the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.
He has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure.
In Christ we have obtained an inheritance…so that we…might live for the praise of his glory.
In him you also…were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people.
Let us happily embrace our divine destiny, thanking God for His mercy.
Yours in mercy,