Tuesday, May 11, 2004

The Message of the Gospel?

I watched "The Word in the World" with Father Michael Manning yesterday as he interviewed a missionary. I came rather late in the discussion and I have no idea if the missionary was a priest or a lay religious--he wore no habit or clerical atire and he was never identified by any title by Father Manning. But what struck me was the missionary's total reduction of the Gospel to a political platform for the restructuring of society. Asked point blank what the message of Jesus was the missionary said, "Jesus preached that we need to believe in ourselves and believe in each other."

I'm sorry but this is not the message of the Gospel. Jesus told people to believe in God and in Him. He told them they needed to die to themselves in order to live in Him. If God is taken out of the equation we do not have love for our neighbors but a political ideology that is exactly the type of messiah that Jesus clearly taught he was not.

It might help if everyone opened the Gospels and got reacquainted with Jesus as he is there without reducing his message because someone tells us that isn't what Jesus really meant.