When we were told that mum was terminally ill, she cried, then sat up in bed, wiped her eyes and said: “Well, now it’s time to put my money where my mouth has been. It’s time to die as a believer in resurrection and life.”
I have realised over the years since how costly it is to live in that way. It is far easier to live believing in badness rather than in goodness, death rather than life, to be bitter and angry at what life throws at you. This seems to be the response to life that many human beings have. Without grace we live in narrow prisons of our own making: We point the finger and blame and judge.
To live in the light of the resurrection invites us to deep, inner, radical change where the fruits of the resurrection are seen in our lives. To be a disciple means living by values that contradict the values of those around you. Compassion, love and mercy become our core values, the building blocks of our lives, as they were for Jesus.
And that, in turn, means that we can no longer divide and separate: It means we have to choose to find goodness in all things: It means that we have to hold the tension, refusing to judge or condemn, even when this is demanded of us. To be a disciple in today’s world demands deep inner change at the very core of our being. It is about widening our vision and seeing more clearly. Grace is the only means for that change to happen.
The question for all of us is whether or not we are prepared to be committed to allowing grace to lead us into the way of radical change so that the world will see in us, and through us, the risen Jesus.
Father Chris Thomas