Thursday, December 4, 2014
Have a good time! Not a wish that many would expect from God or from religion. I'm reading a presentation of the Catholic faith that complains about how dreary we have made religion seem. Advent is a perfect time to celebrate the pleasure and happiness that God wants for us. The story of Jesus is named "Gospel," "Good News." Twice in one verse of Sunday's first reading from Isaiah the prophet announces "glad tidings." The angel that appears to the shepherds at Bethlehem says, "I bring you good news of great joy." In the name of God, let's have a good time!
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Why is the absolute failure of the disciples good news? ("Gospel" and "Good News" translate the same Greek word.) The great Scripture scholar, Father Raymond Brown, says, "The mystery of Mark's Gospel is that God succeeds and accomplishes his purpose amidst human failure." Throughout Mark's story about Jesus, his disciples just don't get it, yet Jesus does what he came to do because he loves them and us.
It is truly Good News that God doesn't count on us. Too often we see "Gospel" as requiring a lot of effort on our part. It's Good News because it doesn't set limits to our lives; it expands them. Jesus is the one who does the work. The Gospel is not about being good or bad. It's about being loved.
(Click on the picture to count just a small number of the geese that arrived.)