A Spirituality blog from our Community

From Dr. Tom Woodman:

English Catholic writer G. K. Chesterton once famously wrote that ‘Christianity had not been tried and found wanting; it had never been tried’. It is true that we often find it hard to grasp how radical Christianity is, ‘life to the full’ as the Gospel of John (10:10) calls it. Both the second reading and the gospel for this Sunday come from John, and although John uses simple words his meaning is so profound that we need a full response of both mind and heart to comprehend it. In the second reading, for example, he says that ‘Whoever keeps His commandments lives in God and God in him’. It would be easy to take this in a moralistic way— God rewards those who keep his commandments. But this would not be very good news for us, especially as St Paul says that no one has been able to keep the Law properly. Earlier in the same passage John says that all the commandments are summed up in believe in God and love others. But how can we be commanded either to have faith or to love, since we cannot psych them up on demand? The answer comes of course with the reference to the work of the Holy Spirit at the end of the passage. It is repeated more clearly with the gospel, where we are told that it is Christ in us who believes for us and loves for us: ‘Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing’.


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