September 6

Reflection

One puzzle of the world is that religions often don’t resemble their founders. Founders are typically bold and charismatic visionaries who inspire with their moral imagination, unfortunately, their teachings sometimes evolve into ingrown, risk-averse bureaucracies obsessed with money and power. That tension is especially pronounced with Christianity, because Jesus was a radical who challenged the establishment, while Christianity has been so successful that in much of the world it is the establishment. What would it mean for Christians to rediscover their faith not as a problematic system of beliefs but as a just and generous way of life, rooted in contemplation and expressed in compassion. Could Christians migrate from defining their faith as a system of beliefs to expressing it as a loving way of life? People have seen ritual as an obsession for the religious community, and they haven’t seen the courage and commitment to shaping a more just and compassionate world.
Adapted from the New York Times, What Religion Would Jesus Belong To? 

Prayer 

Come follow me.

Action 

How do you define your religion? What is your understanding of the Jesus of the gospels? Consider reading Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus Borg.

Suggested Reading  

Jesus replied, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and yet you still don’t know who I am?”
John 14:9 

Not everyone who calls me “Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only those who do what my Father in heaven wants them to do.
Matthew 7:21 

Jesus teaches us another way: Go out. Go out and share your testimony, go out and interact with your brothers and sisters, go out and share, go out and ask. Become the Word in body as well as spirit.
Pope Francis

Agape, the love of each one of us for the other, from the closest to the furthest, is in fact the only way that Jesus has given us to find the way of salvation and of the Beatitudes.
Pope Francis

 I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.
Mahatma Gandhi

Love is the hardest lesson in Christianity; but, for that reason, it should be most our care to learn it.
William Penn

Christianity is a lifestyle. And being a Christian is more than a label.
Joyce Meyer

The real evidence for Jesus and Christianity is in how Jesus and the Christianity based on him manifest themselves in the lives of practicing Christians.
Lionel Blue

Christianity means a lot more than church membership.
Billy Sunday

Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.
Gilbert K. Chesterton
 

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