“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice” -Romans 12:1
“The body, in fact, and only the body, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It has been created to transfer into the visible reality of the world, the mystery hidden from eternity in God, and thus to be a sign of it” -St. John Paul II
This week kicks off our five week preaching series on the Theology of the Body, perhaps my favorite topic to preach about, meditate on and discuss. It is an in-depth, biblical exploration of God, sexuality, gender, the male and female difference and complementarity, and our destiny in Heaven. It helps to make connections between all aspects of faith and life: the Sacraments, the Bible, relationships, marriage, heartbreak, sin and redemption. The Theology of the Body was developed by St. John Paul II and taught over his first five years of being Pope. When I first stumbled upon the Theology of the Body (or “TOB” for those in the know!) I was a senior in college, beginning to seriously discern priesthood for the first time in my adult life. All of a sudden, so many of the questions and struggles I had concerning chastity, purity, vocation and who I was as a man were being answered in beautiful and dynamic ways. The TOB brought me back to “the beginning” on how God has made us male and female, destined us to participate in and model the love of the Trinitarian persons, shown how sin has twisted the dignity of our original state, and how the Redemption that Christ brings can restore and heal our hearts. It brings up conversations about how we have learned about sex, dating, and marriage that I hope you and your family will be having in the coming days. The beauty of this teaching is that it immediately applies to everybody in their life and relationships. It is challenging but helps to give answers to the questions that people are asking and a way forward for every person, no matter what their situation or struggles in life. I pray that this series will open up doors of grace and insight into the beauty of how God has made us, in His divine image, male and female. St. John Paul II, Mamma Mary and St. Joseph, pray for us!