Endless Exodus, Take Three

While we busy ourselves striving for power and trying to control events and even people, the Gospel perpetually proclaims a far different approach to life: God has created us to live a life of dependence and receptivity, and our acceptance of that spiritual reality is required for true human growth and fulfillment.

To live the Gospel forces us to live with contradiction—for the Gospel requires a faith which believes that when one has nothing, one has everything. Moreover, it asks us to count poverty as riches and humiliation has an honor. Service to the poor and lowly is not optional…it is a requirement for the follower of Christ. To turn your back on the poor is to turn your back on Jesus. If the Gospel is not about love and justice, it has been reduced to mere sentimentality. Jesus denounced power, injustice and poverty. The core of Christianity is about the cross, suffering, renunciation and sharing what we have with others. Of course, we don’t like hearing that.

In his book, The Ascent of Mount Carmel, the 16th century Spanish mystic, St. John of the Cross said: “To come to possess all, desire the possession of nothing.” His startling words stand in direct opposition to our American ambition for power, money, pleasure, glamour, security, and an ever increasing standard of living. The saint came to realize that an unrestrained appetite for these things fragments the soul, causing our lives to be too divided and cluttered to find the true peace and joy that can only be found in loving and serving God above all else.

On the cross, through grace, reconciliation and union with God became possible. St. John of the Cross asks us to live the Paschal Mystery, to enter the living death of the cross. He says, “The soul must empty itself of all that is not God in order to go to God.” The detached heart knows the fullness of peace, joy and freedom, and sees the face of God illuminated in all of creation. Those who struggle for their daily bread can offer great insight to those of us who struggle to go deeper into our spiritual lives.


2 Responses to “Endless Exodus, Take Three”

  1. 1 krebsjoan August 29, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    “… the face of God illuminated in all creation.” That really does it for me. Thanks Gerry.

  2. 2 Rev. Paul McKay August 31, 2015 at 7:18 am

    Always appreciate your persistence, Gerry, in shining a light on what truly living the Gospel is about, and what it requires, in a culture that seemingly, increasingly, doesn’t want much to do with the Gospel. A culture of people who have so many wants they don’t know what they want.

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