What is Good News?

Reflection for the 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time by FAN Executive Director, Patrick Carolan

This reflection was originally posted in our August 19th newsletter


This Sunday, the response for our Responsorial Psalm is from Mark 16:15 “Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.” The last couple of weeks it has been hard to find “Good News.” What with the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the shootings of police officers in Philadelphia, the ICE workplace raids in Mississippi, the continued separation of children from their parents at the border, the unrest in Hong Kong, it is kind of hard to think of any Good News. I often ask myself, ‘What is that Good News that Jesus told us to preach?’ Is it about something and someplace far away in the distance? Is the Good News that, at some point (if we are good) we get to go somewhere else? It is awfully hard to tell the world something that we really don’t fully understand ourselves.

Our theology teaches us that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins so we could get into Heaven. Maybe this is the good news; because we were dammed by the sin of Adam, Jesus had to come and save us and now when we die, we can “go to Heaven.” Whatever we do on Earth is only important insofar as it helps us get to Heaven. Is that the Good News?

Blessed John Duns Scotus said, “The Incarnation of the Son of God is the very reason for the whole Creation. To think that God would have given up such a task had Adam not sinned would be quite unreasonable! I say, therefore, that the fall was not the cause of Christ’s predestination and that – if no one had fallen, neither the angel nor man – in this hypothesis Christ would still have been predestined in the same way.” If Scotus is right then Jesus didn’t come to save us from original sin. Maybe, just maybe, the “Good News” which we seemed to have lost over the past 2000 years, is that the Kingdom of Heaven is here. The good news isn’t that Jesus came so we can go somewhere else but he came to create the kingdom here on earth.

In our first reading it says: “and I come to gather nations of every language; they shall come and see my glory.” Imagine if we were telling the world, every nation, all people the Good News, not that they can go to Heaven at some point, but rather that Jesus came to create the Kingdom of Heaven. They can stop worshiping at the foot of the cross and do as Jesus commanded and pick up their cross to be co-creators with God in building the Kingdom of Heaven right here on Earth. Now that is Good News.

Peace and All Good,
Patrick Carolan
FAN Executive Director

Published in: on August 20, 2019 at 10:17 am  Leave a Comment  

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