Too Good to be True?
The gospels have been misused to incite guilt. Some may need that stern correction to over-spending or luxuriating while others starve. But many hard-working people are simply trying to survive, raise their families, and do their jobs, while being as generous as they can with time and treasure. They don’t need another guilt trip!
What we may find harder than guilt is the gospel’s insistence on how splendid we are. Jesus walked among people who were probably diseased, smelly and sweaty and assured them that even in poverty, mourning or persecution, they were “blessed”—the kingdom of heaven was theirs. Mired in our own problems and anxieties, do we struggle with good news?
Admittedly, the central message is hard to absorb. WE, limited and flawed as we are, are made in the very image of the divine. Furthermore, God continues to dwell and act in us. Jesus once said, “you will do greater things than I have done.”
Throughout the gospel, the message recurs: you are not a slave, but a friend, an adopted child with an eternal inheritance—not condemned to futility or the finality of death. Jesus has sanctified everything human, making us indeed a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation” (1 Peter 2:9).
The implications could be unsettling. God chose each of us for a unique purpose and equips us to get it done. So no whining or stalling—get on with it!
To be continued… Originally published in Everyday Catholic