Easter Reflections by Jennifer Geach
Fifth Sunday of Easter
16th May 2017
You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people set apart to sing the praises of God who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
There is no reason to expect that the truths of the gospel should be widely accepted in every respect in any age; as Chesterton remarked ‘Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.’ And our dear Lord and Saviour said “ Enter in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it.”
We have no business expecting that it should cost us nothing to be true to the gospel; on the contrary, we have been told that it will cost us everything to be faithful. For the teachings of the gospel have never been wholly acceptable to any age, and the spirit of the age always rages against at least some aspect of Church teaching. This can be seen in microcosm in our own lives: there are aspects of Christianity which we find easy and congenial: there are for most of us anyway aspects in which we find fidelity to Christ’s teaching hard.
We live in times where vice is proclaimed virtue, where the blood of the innocent is shed freely, where the poor are treated unjustly, where the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must: in short, we live in a world deformed by original sin. This is the world where Christians are called to be salt and light; if we would enter by the narrow gate, and deserve the name of Christian, we must have courage to proclaim not only those truths currently beloved by the world, as that money given to the poor is a debt of justice, employees must be paid fairly and treated justly, the hungry should be fed and the naked clothed: these truths, to which the world currently gives lip service at least, have been proclaimed by the Church, and by the Torah before her. There are other truths, similarly proclaimed by the Church and the Torah, which the world currently hates and rejects, just as in some previous ages justice to the poor and the labourer were rejected. Let us then look courageously at the example of Christ, let us remember that in Him all sin and death have been conquered, and live upright lives, proclaiming by them all the truths of the gospel, secure in the hope that by God’s mercy, we may come to our true native land of heaven. Let our lives be more and more conformed to the Good News; by so living that we will best resist the evils prevalent in our day, as Christians before us resisted the evils that surrounded them.