Today we celebrate the formal presentation of the baby Jesus to God as told by today’s Gospel reading. His whole life – from his birth to his death – was consecrated to God for our sake. Have you consecrated your life to God?
When you were baptized, you were immersed into the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, but have you consciously consecrated your life to him? This is a daily decision, even a moment-by-moment renewal of the decision. It means you choose to fully belong to God, you really want to become like Christ in holiness, and you really are willing to do whatever he would do for the sake of others.
Okay, who of us really wants to be like Jesus? All the time? Even going to the cross? And giving up all the ways we sin? Truth be told, we have to admit that we don't want to be that Christ-like. Oh well, that's why God mercifully provides Purgatory for us: Even though we fail to purge ourselves from sin completely here on earth, we can finish the purification after we die. However, the purging is more painful there, because we will fully and painfully realize how holy and loving God is compared to how little we have loved. So let's make the process easier and consecrate every moment to God now.
This means being in a constant state of prayer, no matter how busy we are. Even during distractions, we're still praying in the spirit if we want God to be involved in everything. It means putting God in charge of what we do and what we don't do, so that our activities are ordered according to his will and desire. It means identifying what we're attached to in this world, then reprioritizing so that we become attached to God alone.
It means continually asking ourselves, in each and every situation, "Am I sharing God's love right now? If not, what must I do to change?" Even when someone is difficult to love, we want to love and we choose to force ourselves to behave like Christ. And it means that when we are not loved by others like we should be, we let God love us in their place.
Here's a handy tool for getting into the habit of consecrating every moment to God: If you have a watch or a cell phone with an alarm that can beep at every hour on the hour, whenever it beeps, take a moment to give the next hour to Jesus. You can start each new hour with:
Lord Jesus, help me to live the consecrated life in each and every moment. Holy Spirit, make me aware of the times when I fail to do this and show me how to re-consecrate my life to You. Loving Father, accept my desire to be consecrated to You, and help me embrace Your generous love for me. Amen!
© 2012 by Terry A. Modica