The Breaking News of Easter: “God so Loved the World. . .”

20 Mar
Paul Aizpiri “La Huitiesme Texte” From La Passion de Nostre Seigneur

Paul Aizpiri “La Huitiesme Texte” From La Passion de Nostre Seigneur

  Have you heard the good news lately? Perhaps you have encountered this question in the form of a flier in your car window, or the polite man or woman who knocked on your door hoping to speak with you. It has been asked so often, and in such uniquely annoying ways, that we find it not just a tired cliché, but an intolerable one at that. Yet, it is a question worth asking today, especially if we put noted emphasis on the last word. Have you heard the good news lately? And when was it you last heard what made that news so good?

  A casual observer may note that the current public climate, influenced as it is by political rhetoric, has reflected a frequently negative picture of this news. It is unfortunate that religious discourse today has largely been represented negatively and at times adopted a polemical stance in the name of “cultural warfare.” This mode of critique can be useful and sometimes even necessary. But, when it becomes entrenched in the mentality and language of warfare, it is easy to lose sight of the “yes” in this chorus of “no.” You may have heard innumerable statements about what the good news is not such that it becomes strange to think of it as good at all.

We find ourselves now in Lent. It is our time spent in a spiritual desert, a time for prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and meditation. It is a time to be alone, to be quiet, and to listen. The arguments of the world will go on, but if we find a few moments of silence this season perhaps we will hear the whispered words of the good news. It is the news of salvation, of transformation, and redemption. It is the story of our lives, of second chances. It is, above all, the news of love that knocks on our door asking for our “yes” and offering unconditional love and acceptance.

This love is the Good News. It is the greatest news we could receive. It is the only news worth anything. The Catholic theologian Hans Urs von Balthasar spoke of this news succinctly and perfectly:

Love alone is credible; nothing else can be believed, and nothing else ought to be believed. This is the achievement, the ‘work’ of faith: to recognize this absolute prius, which nothing else can surpass; to believe that there is such a thing as love, absolute love, and that there is nothing higher or greater than it.

This is the essence of the Good News: that God could love us, with all of our hopes and imperfections, with all the many ways we may feel less than deserving, no matter who we are. Our life story is never over; however broken we may be, there is always Good News on the horizon, waiting to embrace us.

– Tim DeCelle

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