Rescued

     Theologians tend to pick a starting point for their theology, and unpack the meaning of the Gospel from that perspective.  One picks becoming sanctified, another picks grace, another picks beauty, another picks poverty, another picked justice, and so on.
     If I were a theologian, I would pick the concept of “being rescued.”  The experience of being rescued is, in my opinion, the heart of the Gospel.  God rescues His people.  If we do not feel rescued, then perhaps we believe only formulae or wordy doctrines.  If we do not feel rescued, then perhaps we are in church for cultural or social reasons.  If we do not feel rescued, then perhaps we feel strong, put together, capable of finding happiness on our own, as if to say, “I can handle this myself, thank you very much.”
     But no: we are weary, incapable wretches who are in tattered rags from the beating of our own sins and the errors of the world.  The encounter with Christ the shocking moment in which we find Christ, seeing us, adoring us, and choosing us anyway.  It is the experience of feeling loved.  For me, the encounter with Christ is the encounter with someone who loves us so much that He rescues us by saying, “You, yes you, are my beloved!  I want to be joined inseparably to YOU!  I want to spend all of eternity with YOU!”  I feel rescued from hell, in that I feel chosen for eternal life.  Being a daughter of God means, despite all odds, getting to enjoy the heavenly banquet.  But I also feel rescued from my many vices–I am constantly being refined, challenged, built up in virtue and polishing away my many vices.  I apologize a lot.  I ask for grace a lot.  I have a long way to go in this process.  Thirdly, I feel rescued from loneliness.  I have been chosen for a lifelong love affair with God.  My holy longing for companionship that will not disappoint has a real, dependable fulfillment in Christ.  Fourthly, I feel rescued from culture, from society.  Our culture is so wrong, and sends such distorted messages, such as the importance of wealth, reputation, power, appearance, etc.  But my encounter with Christ has rescued me out of these torrential currents, and lifted me onto solid ground.  As a Christian, and as a Catholic, I say yes to family life as more important than these values.  I spend time with my children, watching their little plays and helping them bake muffins.  I wash the floors and scrub off the sticky patches.  Is this an erudite, powerful, glamorous life?  No.  But it is better.  I have been rescued, and have been shown what actually matters in life.  Thank you, Lord, for rescuing me!