Paul "went to extremes in persecuting the Church of God and tried to destroy it" (Gal 1:13). He had an "excess of zeal" (Gal 1:14), which means he was extremely extreme. He described himself "as an extreme case" (1 Tm 1:16). Paul was an extremist.
Many of you reading this are also extremists. You may tend to go to extremes in eating, working, buying, worrying, fearing, drinking, or watching TV. Although the current direction of your extremism may be a curse, it can become a blessing. If, like Paul by God's grace, you can direct your extremism away from self-indulgence, self-destruction, and opposition to God's work, you will be able to use your extremism for the building of God's kingdom.
Jesus was and is an Extremist. He was so extreme that He became a human being and died on the cross because of love for us. He commands us to love Him with all our hearts, all our souls, all our minds, and all our strength (Lk 10:27). What's more extreme than "all"? He gives us His body and blood under the appearance of bread and wine. Did you ever hear anything so far-out, so extreme?
Jesus loves us extremely. What more can He do? We must go to extremes to love Him in return.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2008 through November 30, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008.