New-Evangelization Recipe, Part I: In Us We Trust

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. The Holy Spirit will remind you of all that I told you. (John 14:27,26)

Who would have thought, on the sixth Sunday of Easter last year, that this Sunday we would celebrate the day with a new Italo-Argentine Jesuit Pope?

For that matter: Exactly one year ago, who would have thought that the Supreme Court would vindicate the federal health-care mandate? Or that the Ravens would be Super Bowl champs? Who would have thought that Mariah Carey would sit as a judge on American Idol?

American Idol judgesLife can bring some surprises our way. We can wind up confused, even disconcerted. With all this unpredictability, the question arises in our minds: Who, or what, can we really trust in this world?

We live in the age of the New Evangelization. The world groans under the burden of sin. Every soul faces inevitable death. We human beings do not get born with an instruction manual for life in our little hands—and even if we did, we probably wouldn’t be able to understand the garbled English in it anyway.

In other words: Our brothers and sisters here on this earth need to hear from us the meaning of, the purpose of, the right way to live life. Our brothers and sisters need the Gospel of Christ. And we can’t count on them getting it from anyone other than us.

So let’s ask ourselves this question; let’s ask ourselves, so that we can understand this–and thereby prepare ourselves to share the Good News with others: In order to “have” the Gospel; in order to grasp the way, the truth, and the life which Jesus Christ gives, who do we have to trust? Who do we have to trust in order to be Christians?

Continue reading “New-Evangelization Recipe, Part I: In Us We Trust”

Understanding the Word of the Kingdom. And not.

“The word of the kingdom.”

The Kingdom of God is at hand. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done. The kingdom of God is within you. The kingdom of God has come to you.

So spake the Son of God. And He tells us: You will bear fruit if you receive the word of the kingdom and understand it.

Understand it. Okay. Sure. No problem. 2 + 2 = 4, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Easy.

Right?

Well, no. If understanding the word of the kingdom means grasping the whole business fully. “Yeah, I’ve got this. The kingdom of God looks just like…umm…ahhh…”

But: Yes, it is easy, if “understanding the word of the kingdom” means:

God speaks. He says His kingdom comes. He speaks true and wills nothing but the best. His kingdom must be awesome and glorious, more so than my meager powers can imagine. He’s asking me to believe in it. I would be a fool not to, because this is God we’re talking about.

I understand that the kingdom in question belongs to God. Not to Robert Griffin III or Mariah Carey or David Cameron.

Therefore, I clearly have no business thinking that I can altogether understand the kingdom of God right now. I could understand the Kingdom of Elton John, and it would not do too much for me. But the kingdom of God? I understand perfectly well that I cannot understand it.

I think that is precisely the kind of non-understanding understanding that the Lord wants.

…PS. Long-time, faithful readers will recall that this ridiculous little weblog began life as a venue for me to jump up and down (verbally) after Team USA won the basketball gold in Beijing.

Four years later: Let’s get fired up again, people!