By Jonathan Camiolo – 

I have been watching the Olympics over the last two weeks.  It is incredible to watch the amazing things that these athletes can do.  Whether it is crazy aerials on skis or a snowboard, the speed of skating, the body control and discipline of figure skating or the power of luge, I am left in awe.  I wish I could perform like these athletes.  They have such natural athletic ability but have also spent their lives practicing and perfecting their sports.  They are the best in the world, reaching to the maximum of what their bodies can do.  They have the ultimate aim of their personal best and hopefully Olympic gold.  These athletes imagine those moments as they practice, workout rigorously and take instruction.  The medal stand and the honor of their country motivate them through the long hours, intense focus and pain.

Our bodies are wonderful.  As it says in Genesis 1, we are made in God’s own image and likeness.  Olympians display how amazing our bodies are and what they can do.  When we see these athletes achieve their aim and perform on the world stage with perfection, power, speed and grace, we are all raised up.  We see the beauty of the human body and what it can do.  We see human bodies in a “glorified” state.

God showed the apostles Jesus’ glory.  We read in the gospel Luke this Sunday about the Transfiguration.  Jesus takes Peter, James and John, up onto the mountain to pray with Him.  There is a miraculous moment when they see Jesus transfigured into a heavenly state with Moses and Elijah.  The apostles are amazed and awed.  When we watch the Olympics, we experience maybe a slight piece of the amazement they experienced viewing these “glorified” bodies.

When God sees us, He sees someone beautiful, good, talented and loved.  He loves us so much.  We may not see that in the mirror.  We see our weakness and imperfection.  We see our sins, our ulterior motivations, our selfishness and even our interior “ugliness”.  Simply put, our bodies have not yet reached that glorified state.  As St. Paul said, “Their minds are occupied with earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we also await a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.  He will change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body by the power that enables him also to bring all things into subjection to himself.”

We will have bodies that are glorious when we get to Heaven. Lent is a time to prepare for Heaven.  Lent is a time to get in spiritual shape.  It is a time to get our bodies and live prepared to meet Jesus.  It is not a time to lose weight or give up sweets so that we can have a smaller waistline. It is a time to focus on changes that we want to make and put disciplines and habits in place to make it happen.  It is a time to be reminded of Jesus’ suffering on the cross as we experience some pain and sacrifice.

Like Olympians, we have a goal and motivation.  Our goal is heaven, to enter into the kingdom of God and spend eternity with Him.  Our motivation during this season is to get our lives as prepared as we can, to get spiritually fit, and push our habits and virtue to the max possible.  Someday, we hope that we can truly all have “glorified” bodies!!!

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