December 3, 2015

The good news for today
Jesus concludes his Sermon on the Mount with this clear comment to you people who say you are following Him: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the realm of what’s right—only somebody who actually does the will of my Father in what is right to do.” (Matthew 7)

You and I do hypocritical things, but they are not all bad. Santa Claus is a lie you tell and foster, but your deceit benefits more than harms. Many things you say offer wise advice —especially to younger people—, even though they say essentially: “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Truthfulness—actually DOING what you believe and claim—is an admirable character trait. You look for it in yourself and in others—consistency, a consistency ready to be corrected and changes. You are guided by truth—not others, not ideology, and not prejudgments and generalities. It’s about character here. Not mere sincerity—where you may hang on too long to a falsehood, an ideology, or some ill-founded conviction. “Doing the Father’s will–means humble, open-hearted truthfulness, ready to learn— chiefly from your conscience.

Few of us take seriously the demands of conscience. If your conscience tells you to believe that God did create this world—then equality with other creatures emerges as something you need to accept and act on. With equality and respect, humility and caring love, you obey your conscience—and they become demands on how to act. If you truly believe in “our Father”—then you behave with respect to every one, and you acknowledge history no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient; you embrace others—your family.

If you claim you are a “Christian,” committed to His principles, you act like one. “They will know you are Christian by your love.


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