Jesus has come to you, and asked you to join Him for some time together. You feel no need to ask where He is taking you…your heart is longing to spend time with Him. You are anticipating what He will say, and are looking forward to where you will be going.
You walk along a path for a while, but soon come to a garden gate. He opens the gate wide and you both enter into the most beautiful place you have ever seen. There are flowers, fruit trees, tall pines and majestic mountains. In the distance there is sand and sea, and the sun is shining gloriously. The cool wind blows gently, and the air…the air that fills each breath you take refreshes your mind and your heart and your body and your soul- your whole being.
Jesus leads you to a comfortable place in the garden, and invites you to sit down with Him for a time.
He has a gift for you. It is the Theology of Your Body.
You expect Him to hand you a book, but it is a large package, wrapped in brown paper and tied with a piece of twine. You know the Good Jesus has something wonderful for you, though, and you open His gift with excitement.
A painting, beautifully framed, emerges from the wrappings. The color is so rich, the image so glorious, and the portrait of someone familiar is the most beautiful you have ever seen.
It is you!
Hours go by as Jesus recounts how He made you from the beginning….your life from its very conception has caused Him to rejoice and delight in you. He explains every aspect of your being to you- in all its unique and unrepeatable glory. He explains your whole person, body and soul, your freedom, intellect and your will and recounts all the gifts He has given you. These gifts are unmatched by any other on earth, and He glories in the work He, the Master Artist, has completed in you.
Your body/soul person, feminine or masculine, has meaning,
and reflects the very image of the Trinity,
in all its perfect giving and receiving of real love.
What you have done with your body/soul person has mattered and Christ shows you every thought, word and deed of your life. Somehow these are all contained in the portrait and He lovingly guides you in examining each place.
“But at times I strayed,” you say with regret.
And He lovingly responds that He knows.
“In those times I did watch as you struggled and fell, and I waited for your return with loving patience and longing to be one with you again.”
“And some crosses were so heavy, Lord, that there was no beauty in me. I was bloodied and torn, sweaty and covered in dirt. No one would walk with me because there was such a stench. I don’t see that here… in your gift.”
“At no other time, was I closer to you, as you chose to unite your passion to mine.
And each wound that you bore, has now been redeemed.”
He begins to point out some of the most beautiful aspects of the portrait, and relates to you how these came from some of the most difficult circumstances of life. The color and shape of these parts of the image, were unparalleled in radiance, and light. It becomes clear to you that those are indeed where the pain was, but now in place of ugliness a perfection remains. You begin to realize all you see is Christ in this image. You are made in God’s image and likeness. You are participating in the life-love relationship of the Trinity. In this portrait you feel the Father’s embrace and the Holy Spirit dwelling within your heart.
As you accept the real beauty that is truth about yourself, your eyes fill with tears.
“How could I be so beautiful? I have never seen myself in this way”. You look deep into His eyes for an answer.
“You are beautiful—- because you love – you have loved Me and your brother and sister in service to Me.
Your faithful devotion to the Church, the sacraments, My Word and my Mother have taught you and led you. You are the Father’s gift to me and in the Spirit, a fire has forged us as one….
You and I are one.”
It is the morning of the resurrection of your body, and the last day of the old world for us all. You are shown that Love made you, has sustained you through your vocation and how you lived your life each day, and now that same Love has greeted you at the end of all time. You will live forever in this glorious place, and are given now to all the other saints in union and communion.
With a sweep of His arm over all that surrounds you and His other Hand resting gently in yours, He says,
“This is the Theology of Your Body. All I have is yours. I love you. Now come and share Your Master’s joy!”
The communion of saints begin to emerge from all ends of the garden and all receivers of His gift lift up their songs of praise to Him.
“Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever! Amen!”