Saturday, May 21, 2016



Appreciating the Better-than-Good News: Could the Good News be so good it is “bad news” because its divine ideals discourage us from the outset?

Invitation: Jesus’ New Law offers us, not rules of good human behavior, but guidelines for living on the level of God. Jesus invites and calls us to a “wisdom and love” far beyond what is humanly intelligible, or even possible. We are empowered to live on this level by the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Our faith: How many of these statements do you believe?

If God asked what is humanly achievable, we might doubt our power to accomplish it. But since he asks the impossible, he has to do it with us, in us and through us.

The challenge of the Gospel would be too much for us if Jesus did not also make clear that he doesn’t ask us to be perfect overnight; he just asks us to accept a glorious ideal, the goal of perfect love, and let him lead us to it.

To believe in accepting the cross instead of taking up the sword requires more than ordinary faith. Its absence through most centuries of Christianity explains why Jesus’ disciples in the Church have not been able to exorcise society of the demons of violence and war, with all that precedes and follows them.

A Church of mediocre disciples, whether clergy or laity, who compromise with the culture, cannot save people from the demons of the culture itself. “This kind can only be driven out by prayer.”

Jesus told his disciples they were to consider both power and prestige as dangers to the life of grace. He forbade us to attach prestige to any function in the Church: “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.”

The essential dignity of all Christians is identification with Jesus in grace. To pretend that office or position increases that dignity is to deny it. But to accept this mystery, we have to become like little children, seeing with new and open eyes.

To “scandalize” does not mean to shock. People seldom imitate what shocks them. To scandalize is to cause others to lower their ideals. This usually happens one notch at a time. We scandalize by inches.

Jesus taught as a fundamental principle that we should see an ally in everyone not identified as an enemy. Disagreement is not hostility. Argument is simply inquiry so long as we accept each other and do not go to war against sincerity.

Faced with division among Christians, one thing we can always do is pray together until we know we are united in heart. Then we can focus on doctrinal differences.

Don’t be just human. Keep saying: “Lord, do this with me, in me, through me.”
Rethink power and prestige.
In discussions of religion, start with Jesus and go from there.
Share, don’t shove, your faith.
Pray together before you argue.

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