All of the information and instruction we received was great. The presentations were great, the camaraderie was great, we had Mass everyday, and time for prayer and adoration. But for myself and, I think, many others, the highlight of the week was the Thursday evening reconciliation service. It was a powerful night! We started out with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and the songs and prayers associated with the Rite, then the readings, a reflection on the Gospel, and silent adoration, during which time individual confessions were heard by the attending priests. We sang songs of praise and worship and ended the evening with solemn benediction.
We were set free by the truth: the truth of God’s love for us even though we are sinners. In a very real sense it was liberating. It was liberating because we had let go of the lies that are our sins. After days of instruction, it was only after confessing our weaknesses that we could truly understand the language of our bodies as they were speaking, even singing, the truth that is at the core of our human anthropology. It is symbolized by the Sacrament of Marriage. In fact, we can say that the essential element for marriage as a sacrament is the “language of the body” reread in the truth. A correct rereading in the truth is an indispensable condition for using our bodies to give praise, glory, and honor to our Creator
At the very heart of the Gospel is the proclamation of a living God who is close to us, who calls us to profound communion with Himself, and who awakens in us the certain hope of eternal life. It is the affirmation of the inseparable connection between the person, his life, and his bodiliness. It is the presentation of human life as a life of relationship, a gift of God, and the fruit and sign of His love. TOB can help us to understand this relationship, to better understand the “Christian Mystery,” namely, God’s desire for union with us.
The world needs TOB. And we need to learn it, to love it, and to live it in our lives. We need to reread our bodies in the truth if we are to recover the sense of having an urgently important message for our own salvation and the salvation of the world. In the midst of an increasingly depraved and skeptical world, TOB, “the Gospel of the Body,” as proclaimed by Pope John Paul II is the message. Now is our time, with love and kindness, to be bold and dynamic in sharing this Gospel message. The truth is in our bodies, dwelling with us. Can you hear it? Do you see it? Do you feel it? Do you know it?
Deacon Gary Thrun