Today’s quote gave me pause. It amazes me how I somehow run right to the negative. This is from Romans…take a second to reflect with me on this:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings.
And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.
The word adoption is a loaded word for me. I tried to adopt a little girl once and it just didn’t work out. I was angry and upset at a great many things but mostly, I felt robbed from the opportunity of being a parent. So whenever I hear the word “adopted” I cringe a bit.
But have I not been adopted myself?
God adopted me through Christ. The beauty of incarnation as one of us brings us all to become sons and daughters of God. God cares about creation so much that he instills His spirit into us. Jesus gives us flesh and blood by turning it over to us to do with it as we will. We crucified it once and do so again with each sinful action, but we also adore Jesus’ body and blood in the Eucharist now as well. The body once broken by us is again broken but gloriously now and it feeds us real food–God literally inside of us. Mysticism and matter rolled into one.
God chooses to give me Himself. Adopts me as His own.
Would it be that I could give myself to another as an adopter. But alas, it was not to be. But in order to adopt one needs to realize their own adoption. To love more perfectly, one needs to realize that they are loved first by God.
Do I really believe that?
Could God really be all I need? Or do I have those disordered attachments that St. Ignatius talks about?
What is it that keeps me from Jesus? From the cross? From belief?
Some days I’m snotty and selfish. Others I’m lazy. Others resentful.
The truth is that we all need to feel adopted. We need to feel like something inside us has just died, so that we might live more freely, more openly for God without the need for reciprocation on either end. God doesn’t owe us anything.
And in a similar way, we don’t owe God either. Jesus has ransomed us from death and adopted us as His own forever.
And therein lies one of the central tenets of our faith–that God never abandons us. Even after death, God reaches beyond the darkness of death and tries to pull us His way into His own wonderful new light.
Tomorrow is our Gala Dinner for our parish’s 160 years. Many have been adopted into this communion of saints. Do we have enough gratitue for those who have adopted us?