The 2012 Summer Olympics are history. Thousands of athletes from over 200 countries gathered in London for two weeks to compete for honors in their respective fields of endeavor. Just being there is an honor - to be able to run the race, to compete at that level, to be rewarded for their dedication and hard work. Those that made the winners platform, receiving gold, or silver or bronze, shared in the glory of being Olympic champions. I told our people yesterday that I love watching the Olympic Games, not only for the excitement but maybe because I can identify with those finely tuned athletes. (Thank God they caught the obvious tongue in cheek joke and laughed).
I am impressed by the tremendous hard work, dedication, training, support from so many, and willingness to sacrifice in order to attain the goal of being an Olympic champion.
I am reminded that we too are on a journey of a lifetime, a quest for eternal glory, a prize that is not limited to gold or silver or bronze, but one that is imperishable and eternal. The invitation to strive for this goal is given in the waters of baptism. The talent and ability to reach those heights are entrusted to us at that time. We are surrounded by supportive family in the community of believers, and given excellent coaches to guide and direct us in the teachers and teachings of the Church. And we are honored and strengthened by the love that God has for us as it is found in Christ Jesus. We are nourished with the bread of life, and no better spiritual food can we nutritionally desire or need.
Olympic athletes will tell you just to be able to compete and share in the experience of the Olympics is enough, even if they do not bring home a medal. In our journey, we know that to be one with Christ in this experience of life is to already shared in his glory, and to be counted among the elect, to be a winner. We do not have to wait every four years ... our invitation is permanent and ongoing.