Maybe it’s just been a busy seminar but that first reading exhausted me. It feels like high pressure, high action, high energy Christianity. Listen to it: Nothing; Only; All; Everything. Running; Captured; Strain; Racing; Upwards; Prize. Perfect; perfect; perfect.
It’s quite beautiful in its own way, quite enticing, certainly inspiring but to be honest I’m not sure I’ve got it in me this morning.
So the gospel stands as something of a relief. At least at first sight. What the gospel seem to require of us are passive virtues. To taste right. To shine bright. If the first reading is all action—what we do—this seems to be simply about who we are. Not doing but being. That is a relief!
But the degree of conversion called for runs if anything deeper. Not just to look busy but to be the salt that gives the world its savour. Not just to have our eyes on the prize but to make it possible for the world to see at all. To be not just do-gooders but the very reason in this world God gets praised or despised.
How do we get to be tasty disciples—bright shiny people? There’s a whole theology and spirituality at stake in that question and the categories of being and doing aren’t too helpful. But let me take a paragraph from Ignatius’s book and leave us with that. What makes all the difference is generosity—the willingness to be changed—eagerness even. Eagerness to share the life of Jesus here and now where it might lead.
February 29th, 2004