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Living the Gospel – January 12, 2020

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“…you are coming to me?”

John the Baptist was surprised that Jesus would come to him. Jesus was one of many waiting to be baptized and John was hesitant …he knew he was just a messenger. To baptize the holy one did not seem right to John. But, Jesus reassured him, ‘allow it now, for it is fitting.’

We too are surprised that Jesus would come to us. Do we ask ourselves is it really true that God is present in me and that I am loveable no matter what I do? Don’t I have to earn God’s love by doing good deeds and spending hours in prayer? Actually, we don’t. God is with us. We need to ask God to help us become more aware that the Divine is within us and allow that love, that divine spirit, to show forth in our words and action.

We each need support to become aware and to act on our awareness. Sunday Liturgy can provide that support. We come together to pray, to learn, to strengthen each other and to be strengthened. In one sense the Liturgy is the beginning of our spiritual life. It calls us and encourages us to go out and live the Gospel. It is the first step, not the only step.

The vastness of this call was recently brought to my attention by Joan Chittister in her book, The Time is Now, A Call to Uncommon Courage, in which she states “We are called to live the Word ourselves…so that others may live better lives because of us. Otherwise, we use a standard that does not really describe the spiritual person in the Judeo- Christian tradition. It is little more than camouflage for religious comfort, for making a spa out of the religious (spiritual) life, for confusing a feel-good following of Jesus with the hard work of tending to the world. After all, God did not finish creation. God created us to do that. To abandon and discard the very people, ideals, creation, and commitment we are meant to care about. What kind of spirituality is that? Right. Almost none.” This week let’s take a close look at ourselves as individuals, and as a church, and see if we are truly living the Christian life of love….or are we content with only attending Mass on Sunday.

Peg Orzel