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Amazing Possibilities!

  • Writer's pictureMatthew Kelly

What Are You MISSING From the Gospels?

I have this exercise I do at church on Sunday. After father gets up and reads the gospel or the deacon, sometimes I forget the deacons, then they beat me up in the parking lot afterwards, I have this exercise I do at church on Sunday. After father, the priest or the deacon reads the Gospel, I ask myself this question, if I just live this one Gospel reading 100%, so not the whole Gospels, not the whole Bible, not all of church teaching, not the whole catechism, but if I just live this one reading 100%, how much would my life change? And the answer every single Sunday, radically. My life would change radically. If I just lived one Sunday reading a hundred percent, my life would change radically. And you know what that shows me, you know what that tells me, you what that teaches me? That teaches me that there is a gap between my life and the gospel. There's a gap between my life and the gospel. And it's a big gap. It's a big gap.

But here's the problem. Most of us, we think we're pretty good Christians. Seriously. Most people think they're pretty good Christians. We are in a culture now where many people think that non-Christian people are pretty good Christians. You'll hear people say all the time, ah, she's not Christian, but she's one of the best Christians I ever met. I mean, what the heck does that say about Christians? 84% of Americans believe they are excellent drivers. 84% of Americans believe that they are excellent drivers. Now I think you and I have enough experience on the roads to recognize that is a monumental case of self delusion. But we do the same thing with our Christianity. Most people think they're pretty good Christians. Compared to what? Not compared to the gospel, not compared to the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Compared to what? Compared to how bad things are getting in our society? Compared to the neighbor next door, who sits on the back all day with no shirt on, doing shots of tequila and shooting squirrels with his BB gun? I mean maybe compared to him, you're a pretty good Christian.

But compared to what? Because we tend to find a point of reference that suits ourselves. And every Sunday, when the priest or the deacon gets up to read that Gospel, Jesus blows that point of reference away. And he says, no, no, here's the point of reference. Here's the point of reference. This is what I want you to be thinking about. And then we go way back out into the world, right, trying to have our marriages work and trying to raise our kids in a responsible way and work on our careers and manage our personal finances and our health and wellbeing. And we've got all this stuff going on, and yet there's something inside of us that says, hold on a minute, you're missing something and the something you're missing is really important.

Matthew Kelly

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