In the temporal order we say that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.
In the spiritual order we can say that the truest path between two events in the Plan of Salvation is simply the will of God.
This can be demonstrated in the life of Jesus Christ. Let’s consider the Incarnation and the Resurrection. When Christ came into the world – according to the Letter to the Hebrews – He said:
“Sacrifices and offerings thou hast not desired,
but a body hast thou prepared for me;
in burnt offerings and sin offerings thou has taken no pleasure.
Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God,
as it is written of me in the roll of the book.’” Heb 10:5-7
St. Alphonsus de Ligouri, a Doctor of the Church, says Christ spoke these words at the first moment of His conception. The Church has traditionally believed this also and links this scripture passage to the Feast Day of the Annunciation/Incarnation on March 25 (nine months before Christmas Day).
Christ spoke often – directly and indirectly – about doing the Father’s will. For example, it is incorporated for all time into the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy will be done”.
But in Gethsemane He re-dedicated Himself to it – three times: “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Mt 26:39,42,44). The prayer in Gethsemane was a holy point of reckoning, for humanity in general, and for the humanity of Our Lord in particular. Jesus Christ – fully God and fully man – not only adhered to the will of God, in fact, He bowed down to it and fastened His human will to it by the bloody sweat of His brow (Lk 22:44).
For one of the soldiers presiding at the crucifixion, the shortest distance between him and the Savior’s Heart was a spear – which he didn’t hesitate to thrust. For us that distance can be traveled in prayer – which we shouldn’t hesitate to offer.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that the Resurrection of Christ is the “fulfillment in accordance with God’s eternal plan” of His Incarnation (CCC#653). The true distance from the Incarnation to the Resurrection is the Will of God; a Merciful Will of Love poured out lavishly upon the human situation; cause for great joy!
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