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The Word on the Week

The Gospel

There is an incident in the Bible where things couldn’t have gotten much worse. The enemy had laid siege to the city; starvation was at the door and four leprous beggars reckoned that they might as well flee to the enemy as they were bound to die if they stayed put. When they reached the enemy camp they found all had fled leaving everything behind. They decided to help themselves but their consciences intervened and they said, “We’re not doing right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves”. 2 Kings chapter 7 verse 9. That was one sort of good news. Another occurs when the Apostles started preaching in Jerusalem after Jesus had risen from the dead. “They never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ. Acts chapter 5 verse 42. God had visited earth. St Paul said it was of first importance that Christ died for our sins. Now people have a hard time relating to that word “sins”. If you are Catholic you instinctively think of sex. If you are not a Catholic you think of the thing which currently bugs you! The net result, if anything, is that you embark on some self-improvement scheme. But the good news of the gospel requires you to look in the opposite direction. Not to yourself but to Christ. Not to your performance (or lack of it) but to the one who came to “save his people from their sins”. St Matthew’s Gospel chapter 1 verse 21. You must turn away from the tendency to sift through the erratic behaviour of your life looking for some evidence that might convince you that, just maybe, you are heaven bound. Some acts of kindness that might tip the balance in your favour? But such thinking implies the Jesus work on the cross in bearing all your sin was somehow inadequate! St Peter, speaking of the unique and exclusive nature of Jesus work put it like this; “Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts Chapter 4 verse 12. If you are not sure about your salvation you need to trust Christ completely. If you are sure you need to be like the beggars and share the good news with others.