At my nephew’s baptism this last weekend, my brother in law spoke and used a wonderfully vivid analogy I’d like to expound upon.
He lives in Hawaii, and as you might expect, regularly visits the beach with his family. He explained that each day, hundreds of people would come to the beach. They’d spend hours playing on the sand, building castles and sculptures, and digging holes. At the end of the day, the beach would be left scarred, nearly completely covered with signs of such daily use.
But no matter how scarred the beach became, early the next day, there it was, clear and clean, as though no one had ever stepped foot on it before.
He explained that late at night, high tide would come in, and the waves from the ocean would crash against the sand, washing away the marks of the past, and leaving in its wake a clear and pristine surface, ready again for another day.
He observed how much this is like baptism, and after baptism, the sacrament. During the week, our lives naturally begin to show signs of wear, the signs of life, proof of our imperfections… the scars of mortality.
Still, each week, we have the opportunity to present ourselves at the feet of our Savior, to cast our burdens upon him, to take His name upon us, and to wash away the marks of the past.
Spiritual entropy is unavoidable, but in His divine mercy and love, He has provided a mechanism whereby we might regularly cleanse ourselves, and become pure again.
Our gratitude to Him for such a reachable and attainable instrument should cause our hearts to swell and our minds to expand, but all too often the commonness of the sacrament causes it to lose value in our eyes.
It’s the law of scarcity. Those things that we perceive of being most scarce, we place the highest value upon. Yet here is something directly within our grasp that is powerful beyond comprehension, and available to us on a weekly basis.
How grateful I am for the magnificence of the sacrament, for the love it symbolizes. May I try harder each week, to present myself in the environment of the sacrament with a bit more humility, a bit more gratitude, a bit more self reflection, and a bit more reverence, that each week my life might be freed of the scars of the past.