We read this morning at mass, “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1Jn 2:28)
Pope Francis writes, “I have a dogmatic certainty; God is in every person’s life. God is in everyone’s life. Even if the life of a person has been a disaster, even if it is destroyed by vices, drugs, or anything else-God is in this person’s life. You can, you must try to seek God in every human life.”
Pope Francis wrote in ‘Joy of the Gospel’ that the Church must find a new balance. That we must not present the Gospel as if it was nothing more than a moral code. He quotes Pope Benedict, “Christianity is not a a morality or a code of ethic. Christianity is an encounter with an event, an encounter with the person of Jesus.”
If we present the Gospel as if it was only a series of moral laws, however true they may be, than we have lost the Fragrance of the Gospel. Pope Francis writes, “We have to find a new balance; otherwise even the moral edifice of the church is likely to fall like a house of cards, losing the freshness and fragrance of the Gospel. This proposal of the gospel must be more simple, profound, radiant. It is from this proposition that the moral consequences then flow.”
I remember being struck by this verse, right before I was ordained a priest, when Jesus said, “If I be lifted up I will draw all people to myself.” It hit me like a lighting bolt that my vocation as a priest was to preach Jesus. It is Jesus that is attractive. Jesus is the fulfillment of all desires. If we have a personal relationship with Jesus than we want to follow his commandments.
As a popular praise songs says, “If I be lifted up says the Lord I will bring all men unto me. Lift Jesus higher Lift Jesus higher says the Lord, If I be lifted up says the Lord I will draw all men unto me.”