Simply put: I am finding that the basic kerygma of the Christian faith has the explosive potential to set hearts free. Time and time again, I find that proclaiming to people that Jesus Christ suffered, died, and rose from the dead is the foundation for both our initial conversion and our on-going path of spiritual growth. Of course, there is more to the proclamation than what has happened in the past. The Paschal Mystery (i.e. the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ) is an on-going reality of our individual appropriation of Christ’s victory. Thus, the good news that we are called to share with the world is that we participate in the victory of Jesus Christ.
Often, we fail to realize that each of us needs to be reminded of this central truth. In our quest for wholeness and equilibrium, we lose sight of the fact that we are infinitely loved in the midst of our suffering, our pain, and our confusion. Helping people to grow and develop is important, but even more important is teaching people to rest in their weakness and dependence on God. For many people, their lives spin out of control as they desperately seek to hold on to and maintain the illusions of our egocentricity and self-centeredness.
The kerygma is a source of consolation as we come to accept that the victory is always Christ’s. He does not ask us to solve the world’s problems or to create perfect families and governments. Rather, all he asks of us is conversion, that movement in which we turn away from ourselves and towards his infinite mercy. In this way, the kerygma awakens us to the truth that our purpose is to receive God’s love and mercy, and our mission is to share what we have received.
This is not, however, a flight from the responsibilities of this world as if the good news of Jesus Christ were meant to be an alternative to daily living. It is precisely the ability to receive the victory of Christ in our lives and to rest in his love which creates the real possibility of human development and harmonious living. Underlying all of our world’s problems is a subtle rebellion against God, and the only way to undo the knots of sin in this world is walk the path of conversion and call others to do the same.
That is why we must proclaim the kerygma and live its call to conversion. The more we keep our attention focused on this foundational message, the more we will help others to be freed from the snares and attacks of the devil and the more we will be instruments of Christ’s love for the world. Today, let us be bold in proclaiming Christ’s passion, death, and resurrection. Let us invite all we meet to know, love, and serve our incredible God.