Promises of change

Every day recently we’ve been hearing rousing promises from political parties. They’ve created blueprints and are preparing to throw massive sums of money at providing better roads and transport, clearing the streets of young hooligans and building homes for the homeless. You don’t have to be overly cynical to ask why these solutions are popping up just before our general election.

Jesus as a social radical

Key elements of Jesus’ teaching, such as the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5.5-7.27) and Luke’s Sermon on the Plain, show Jesus plunging into the depths of issues similar to those we now face. In Lk 6.27-38 he puts forward a blueprint for a new society. He proposes a society built on learning to love our enemies and giving to all who ask our aid – imitating the extravagant generosity of God who has forgiven us so much. If we did live in this way, nations would abide in peace with one another, families would fight to stay united – our world would be a different place.

Sadly such personal transformation seems a bridge too far for those who have never known love or have rejected it.

The good news

The extraordinary reality is that Jesus Christ did model his entire life on the extravagant generosity of God. Humanly speaking it seems impossible for those men and women whose life-roots are scarred and twisted even to hear, let alone embrace, that challenge. Yet many have. That’s because grace, pure unearned, gratuitous love can still transform such battered lives.

Our challenge

In one way we’re responsible for nobody’s life and salvation except our own. Yet in another way, reaching out to forgive and offer new starts, as Jesus did, can still shift entire life directions in ways that we could not dare to hope for.

Father Neil Vaney

Next Steps

This writing is based on the content of ‘What Catholics Believe’. Should you like to read more just click the link below to download the complete set of ‘What Catholics Believe’.