THE WORLD AS IT SHOULD BE > WEEK 1
When we think about how the world should be, many of us start focusing on what other people need to fix. It seems like it's the other people who always need the fixing.
But Jesus always seems to be reminding us to start with ourselves. As Christians, we should continually be experiencing conversion: letting God's love break open our hearts and turning our lives completely around to seek the Kingdom. How can we break through our own resistance to the Good News and let Christ rule in our own lives?
The disciples came up and asked, “Why do you tell stories?”
He replied, “You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight. In their present state they can stare till doomsday and not see it, listen till they’re blue in the face and not get it. I don’t want Isaiah’s forecast repeated all over again:
It Begins with Us
The Times once asked famous authors to respond to the question, “What is wrong with the world today?” Catholic intellectual G.K. Chesterton reportedly responded:
Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
George Bernard Shaw
Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.
The only thing people regret is that they didn't live boldly enough, that they didn't invest enough heart, didn't love enough. Nothing else really counts at all.
Ted Hughes, British Poet Laureate
On Being Wrong
"Wrongologist" Kathryn Schulz argues that we need to admit and embrace our human tendency to be wrong. It's much better than pretending that we're right all the time when we aren't.
What does it feel like to be wrong? Usually it feels like being right. In the present moment, all of us think we're right. And we always live in the present moment.
It's realizing that we're wrong that usually feels bad to us. So we often avoid it. But for us to be right more often, we need to learn from our mistakes... and celebrate when we realize our mistakes.
Watch one of Kathryn's TED talks on the right for more insights into how we can be better about being wrong.
Being Wrong as a Catholic
As Christians, we call one way of being wrong "sin." That is when we "miss the mark," whether by action or inaction. Our Catholic faith offers a lot to help us move beyond our mistakes and resistances. Here are just a few:
The miracle of your mind isn’t that you can see the world as it is.
Kathryn's TED Talk
Sower of living hearts,
sower of tenderness,
sower of courage,
sower of service,
sower of prayer,
sower of light
Lord, sow within us.
Sower of gifts,
sower of forgiveness,
sower of faith,
sower of joy
sower of life,
sower of the Beatitudes.
Lord, sow in the hearts of all people!
Even if we are hard as stones,
be patient with us!
Your Good News
will manage to slip
between the tight cracks
in our rock and will
grow into giant sheaves
of Good News!
Charles Singer and Albert Hari
Experience Jesus Today
Songs For the Kingdom
Power of One
Build Your Kingdom Here
This raucous number by Northern Ireland's Rend Collective brings to mind Mumford & Sons and the Lumineers.
Here are some ideas for how you can live out this message in your life this week.
Questions of the Week
How might I be getting in the way of the Kingdom breaking through in the world?
What can I do this week to let Christ more fully rule my heart and life?
Being Wrong as a Catholic
Review the "On Being Wrong" section above, especially the "Being Wrong as a Catholic" subsection. What steps do you want to take this week?
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