Friday, November 15, 2013

It's Hard to Hear Jesus Through the Culture Wars Says Ottawa Archbishop

A key question is, are you and I open to an encounter with Christ? Any change must come from that encounter. This is what Pope Francis is all about.

He said as much when he asked bishops to tone down talk about certain moral issues. These topics are creating so much static that people cannot hear the most important message, the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Pope Francis wants to move the church away from ideological fixations of a moralizing sort and toward proclaiming the gospel. The order of church life must be inviting people to know God in Christ first. Then comes the moral order, as a response to coming to know God’s mercy, forgiveness, and joy.

Often, the order gets reversed and that’s where trouble occurs. This is where the issues of abortion, contraception, active homosexuality, and other life issues come in. Virtuous behaviour in these areas is a response to God’s grace. It is not a pre-condition to belonging to the community of God’s Kingdom and the Church.

Most people need a close walk with the Lord to understand why the Church says no to certain behaviour. Without Jesus deeply in one’s life, it is hard to understand these prohibitions. But how do people get to know Jesus? It is by God’s people—you and me—evangelizing and telling them about our Lord and Saviour.