Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time

(Galatians 1:6-12; Luke 10:25-37)

For almost fifty years the western world at least has heard of “Godspell”.  The Broadway musical tells the story of Jesus’ ministry leading to his death.  It presents Jesus as under a spell of goodness which he passes on to others – hence God-spell.  This is not the origin of the word gospel which Paul uses in today’s first reading, but it does indicate the presence of grace which Jesus embodies.

For Paul gospel is the good news of salvation through faith in Christ.  He proclaims this good news with the claim that trusting in Jesus leading to Baptism will save one from the sinfulness that characterizes the world.  He does not mean that the profession of faith works as a magic formula changing the person as the words are uttered.  Rather he intends that faith in Christ testified by works of the kind that Christ describes in today’s gospel marks one as a member of God’s kingdom.

We should see the gospel itself as a kind of grace.  It offers us the words and example of Jesus.  Moved by his words to follow his example, the gospel allows us to encounter Jesus and to remain in his company.  His presence will bring us through the curtain of death itself because He has conquered death.