Pundits from politicians to celebrities to media types to well-intentioned friends and family offer opinions as authoritative truth on how we are to view the world, each other, and ourselves. The Zeitgeist, or spirit of the times, states there is no truth except what each person wants it to be. Any serious consideration of this way of being and interacting with others and we soon realize this will not long sustain a healthy society.
In 1st Century Palestine, when and where the Son of God, Jesus Christ, chose to dwell among us, the other extreme was at work. The problem then was that God’s people were expected to follow a fixed set of rules that were overly burdensome to the point of being impossible to follow. Jewish society was being crushed between Roman oppressors and their own leaders of whom Jesus said,
“You impose on people burdens hard to carry, but you yourselves do not lift one finger to touch them” (Luke 11:46).
Creating a Robust and Long-lasting Society
Societies built on unlimited choices or no choice for their members are doomed because humans are created by God to be both ordered and free.
Is there a way for humans to build a healthy and sustainable society?
Yes, and that way is in allowing individuals within a society to freely choose Jesus.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:
“Christ’s whole life is a mystery of recapitulation. All Jesus did, said, and suffered had its aim restoring fallen man to his original vocation: When Christ became incarnate and was made man, he recapitulated in himself the long history of mankind and procured for us a ‘short cut’ to salvation, so that what we had lost in Adam, that is, being in the image and likeness of God, we might recover in Christ Jesus. For this reason Christ experienced all the stages of life, thereby giving communion with God to all men” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 521).
Jesus Christ, who is both fully God and fully human, is uniquely authorized to bring into unity humanity with God and humans with each other.
Scripture confirms this:
“Beloved: This is the message that we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the Blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin” (1 John 1:5-7).
Freedom to Choose is Key
A perfect society is only possible if all people choose Jesus, but a healthy society is still attainable and even sustainable as long as the freedom for individuals to choose Jesus is allowed, provided for, and protected.
For those of us who are Christians, it is incumbent on us to assume the responsibility and privilege of being disciples of Jesus Christ and taking our turn on the front lines of society, because as Jesus tells us,
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:13-16).
Do not let the failures of other Christians, or your own failures to live up to your discipleship of Jesus, exempt you from this privilege.
Just get up, try again and remember: We do not fight alone.
Jesus is with us in the Church to heal and strengthen us in our journey through life. Take advantage by living the Sacramental life of the Church, staying close to Jesus fully alive in the Eucharist, and asking our Blessed Mother, the Communion of Saints, and the Holy Angels to aid our efforts.
At Pilgrim Center of Hope, we end our daily mission prayer by turning to our Blessed Mother who never fails her Son, nor us, her children:
Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you.
Nan Balfour is a grateful Catholic whose greatest desire is to make our Lord Jesus more loved. She seeks to accomplish this through her vocation to womanhood, marriage, and motherhood, as a writer, Missionary of Hope, Prayer Intercessor, Speaker Team member, and Volunteer for Pilgrim Center of Hope.
Answering Christ’s call, Pilgrim Center of Hope guides people to encounter Him so as to live in hope, as pilgrims in daily life. See what’s happening & let us journey with you! Visit PilgrimCenterOfHope.org.