You may come to share in the divine nature.
Share in the divine nature? Such a promise might seem way beyond us. We don’t find it hard to believe that Baptism unites us with Christ and gives us the gift of his Holy Spirit. But to actually share in God’s life? That seems more a matter for theologians to wrestle with than for us to comprehend, much less experience.
But let’s see how this promise plays out in everyday life. How do you already share in the divine nature?
When you forgive.
Jesus forgave his persecutors from the cross. He asked us to forgive seventy times seven. As difficult as it is to let go of hurt, anger, and resentment and forgive those who hurt us, we become more like Jesus every time we do this.
When you make a sacrifice out of love.
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross was the supreme act of love, but he also sacrificed in other ways. He preached to large crowds and healed people after spending the night in prayer. He had no place to lay his head as he traveled from place to place. Your every act of sacrificial love—from staying up with a sick child to giving up a free Saturday to serve at your parish—reflects the life of Jesus and God’s divine nature.
When you reach out to the poor and forgotten.
Jesus ministered to people on the margins—the sick, the poor, the troubled, the outcast. When you visit a lonely neighbor or make a meal for a homeless shelter, you are taking on God’s heart for his people.
When you intercede for others.
Jesus constantly prays for us before our Father in heaven. When you pray for your loved ones, for the Church, and for the world, you are doing exactly what Jesus does!
Of course, these aren’t always easy things to do. We may have a share in Jesus’ nature, but we are also subject to sin and temptation. That’s why God has given us his Holy Spirit. The more you ask the Spirit for help, the more you’ll find yourself thinking—and acting—like Jesus.
word among us