“You belong to what is below, I belong to what is above. You belong to this world, but I do not belong to this world.” - JN 8: 23
The words of Jesus today strike me today as a reminder that there is so much I have to work on in my own heart, so much conversion yet to go through.
I do belong to this world. I belong to this world of materialism made manifest through my designer handbags, slavery to the addictive nature of Netflix and consumerism masked by the ease of Amazon Prime. I belong to this world of superficial conversation, texting while driving, and preoccupation with my own worries and concerns that I hardly notice the person standing next to me in the check out line.
This world, with all its technology and promises to make my life easier, traps me, tempting me to choose selfishness, avoiding anything that “wastes my time.” This world tells me that it is ok to be sarcastic; it’s just one’s sense of humor. But really, I’m “ripping the flesh” from my closest friends. This world says that I need to stay on top of the latest trend to be of social worth, while I forget that my value lies in my inherent human dignity, not how I contribute to a conversation.
Yet, while I feel sorrow for belonging to this world and all its varied temptations, I hear Jesus calling me back. The redeemer beckons me, reminding me that while I fall prey to the world around me, enslaving myself to the desires of its promises, He is here to save me. He is here to tell me that there is mercy pouring forth from His heart. He calls out to me from the cross, reminding me that He takes on my shackles through the nails that bind His hands and feet to the wooden beams that now support Him.
And from that love, I am redeemed. I am set free to choose to refuse to belong to this world and live with Him.
I struggle. I seek conversion. He is merciful. I am saved. Redemption is here.
Reflected by Regina Galassi