When we think of partnerships, we may think of marriage or perhaps business. We know it involves a deep level of commitment. And we know that good partnerships can bear wonderful fruit: a sound family, a prayerful marriage, a healthy and productive company.
In the readings today, the Letter to the Hebrews contains an amazing line:
Encourage yourselves daily while it is still “today,”
so that none of you may grow hardened by the deceit of sin.
We have become partners of Christ
if only we hold the beginning of the reality firm until the end.
We are “partners of Christ?” How is that even possible? He is God-Made-Man. What could Christ possibly get out of a partnership with a bunch of hapless sinners like us?
It’s important to remember that Christ does not need our help. He accomplishes all that He accomplishes because He is God. But like a father who allows his young son to “help” with a household chore, Christ allows our “partnership” with the work of salvation. However, we must do our part: encourage ourselves (with prayer, Scripture, sacraments.) We cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by the world and the sin that will try to ensnare us. We have to know what is real, and the only “thing” that is truly real is Christ.
Above all, this partnership with Christ requires us to be “all in.” We need to give everything to Christ, if we are truly going to be His partners. This partnership Christ invites us to be part of, then, is not a limited one or one that has an “expiration date.” We enter this partnership when we are baptized and we must continuously give ourselves to Christ willingly. This is the partnership of faith. Pope Francis, in Lumen Fidei (The Light of Faith):
The light of faith is unique, since it is capable of illuminating every aspect of human existence. A light this powerful cannot come from ourselves but from a more primordial source: in a word, it must come from God. Faith is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfilment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us. Faith, received from God as a supernatural gift, becomes a light for our way, guiding our journey through time.
Read through this part of the Letter to the Hebrews, and ponder how committed we are to this partnership with Christ. He invites us to join Him in letting His Truth be known in this weary world. Let us be the “light of faith,” living our encounter with Jesus for all to see.