Saturday, December 23, 2017

The domesticated Gospel

By Victor Codina (English translation by Rebel Girl)
Blog de CJ
December 19, 2017

We often discard gospel texts that are hard for us to understand. For example: that what we do to the poor, we do to Jesus, that the mysteries of the Kingdom, hidden from the wise and prudent, have been revealed to the little ones, that in the Magnificat it is said that God has put down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly, that in the beatitudes it is proclaimed that the poor are blessed and a "woe to the wealthy" is delivered, that God prefers mercy to sacrifices ... It even seems right to us that the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son did not want to participate in the festive feast.

Nor does it persuade us to hear that we have to carry the cross every day, rather we're in tune with Peter when he refuses to accept the passion of Jesus. We don't like to hear that we are to be born again, nor do we fully understand that God dwells in us, or that where there are two or three gathered in His name, He is present. Nor have we taken seriously the fact of not calling anyone father or teacher, because we call priests "father", bishops "his excellency", cardinals "his eminence", and the Pope "his holiness". We also don't like to hear that we have to be vigilant, because the Lord will come when we least expect it. And that resurrection business is so strange to us that we prefer to think that the soul is immortal, as the Greek philosophers and the Roman sages used to say.

To many men it is shocking that some women anointed the feet of Jesus with perfumes and tears, that the woman with the issue of blood touched the fringe of His mantle and that a Syrophoenician woman changed Jesus' plans. Nor do they like that Jesus first appeared to women and charged them to announce the resurrection to the disciples.

In short, we are accommodating the Gospel to our way of life, we are making the Church worldly, we are living a bourgeois Christianity, without cross or resurrection, with an "a la carte" faith. We domesticate the gospel, we mutilate it, we adapt it and make it politically correct. We have transformed Christmas into the celebration of consumption. The salt has lost its flavor, we have become pious Pharisees who fulfill external rites and norms, faith is reduced to a kind of b├ęchamel sauce that coats the outside but doesn't transform life. Can it surprise us that many young and not so young people, men and women, are moving away from this style of Church? Is it strange that Pope Francis is talking about reforming the Church? We can not extinguish the fire of the Spirit.

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