Perhaps it is the intense political season. Perhaps it is the heightened awareness of a growing aggressive secularism. Perhaps it is my own continued prayer regarding how best to fulfill my ministry as a bishop. Regardless of the many currents flowing in and out of our days and the movements of the Spirit in my own life and prayer, an insight came during Morning Prayer on Thursday of this past week with this passage of Sacred Scripture.
For the creation awaits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God;… in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:19-21)
Culture, human relationships, society, history all await the ‘revelation of the children of God’ in a manner that strongly calls each of us today to firmly, consistently, lovingly live our faith in the midst of the world. The Kingdom of God though totally a transcendent reality, solely the work of God, clearly seeks the cooperation of each human person for its advance in the world.
As each of us grows in the freedom that is ours in Jesus Christ, we grow in holiness and in our true nature and identity as children of God. Our freedom in Christ brings about a greater willingness to live in humility and love in communion with others, always at the service of the common good, and never for the sake of selfish gain or agenda.
To be a child of God, a member of Christ’s Body, the Church, is a compelling motivation for us to be agents in the world for the sake of advancing God’s Kingdom. However, “the Church is not to be confused with the political community and is not bound to any political system.” (Gaudium et Spes, #76)
The Compendium Of The Social Doctrine Of The Church also has this to add:
The transformation of social relationships that responds to the demands of the Kingdom of God is not fixed within concrete boundaries once and for all. Rather, it is a task entrusted to the Christian community, which is to develop it and carry it out through reflection and practices inspired by the Gospel. It is the same Spirit of the Lord, leading the people of God while simultaneously permeating the universe, who from time to time inspires new and appropriate ways for humanity to exercise its creative responsibility. This inspiration is given to the community of Christians who are a part of the world and of history, and who are therefore open to dialogue with all people of good will in the common quest for the seeds of truth and freedom sown in the vast field of humanity. The dynamics of this renewal must be firmly anchored in the unchangeable principles of the natural law, inscribed by God the Creator in each of his creatures (cf. Romans 2 14-15), and bathed in eschatological light through Jesus Christ. (#53)
So, my dear friends, know that faith is far more than something between ‘me and God.’ All of creation and society today eagerly await for us to reveal ourselves as children of God. Let us bring our faith and Gospel values into the world.
We have great gifts to be shared; namely the truth and freedom that flow from our faith in Jesus Christ. Each human person, and humanity as a whole, awaits our firm belief and effort to futher establish the dignity and sanctity of the human person and human life. The poor and underpriveleged look for our compassion and practical expressions of love and support.
Our faith, and the expressed manner in which we live it, are indeed Good News to all of creation and society as a whole.