Monday, July 28, 2014

A Thought

“If you believe what you like in the Gospel and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe – it is yourself.”  St. Augustine

I doubt there are many among us who take everything written in the Scriptures as “gospel” (good news) – especially those portions that seem to strike at the heart of what is most important to us.  Even the prophets are hard to read because we hear a very angry God speak to a people who had chosen their own course above The Lord’s direction for them.

Yet for all that is written, there is an overall context in which everything comes together.  The New Testament has its context entirely in the First Testament.  The “bad” stuff has its context entirely in the good.  It is, however, as Augustine observed in himself; it is the “bad” that makes the good truly good because even in the “bad”, we find a Holy Father who is much more eager to forgive and restore than He is to “smite”.  That reality is expressed in Messiah, for The Lord did not have to do this remarkable thing – He chose to.  It is in the abundance of His mercy that He continues to reach out to an unbelieving world through His Church.

This is the reality of who we are.  Being who we are, then, requires the necessary expression of all we claim to believe about The Lord. 

So what is it we believe?  That is what we are called to express.  Not with hatefulness, not with spite, and certainly not with an agenda of our own.  The Gospel is The Lord, and The Lord is the Gospel.  All of it – because in the end, we find The Lord still waiting patiently.

Let us not flee from hell.  Rather let us run to Love.  Then hell no longer has a legitimate claim over us.



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