God Loves Us So That We Can Change

I found this in the e-mail this morning and thought it was worth sharing: God does not love us if we change.  God loves us so that we can change.

Michaelangelo's The Conversion of St Paul

God fills in the gaps of human deficiency by a great act of mercy and compassion, and the word for that great act for St. Paul is “Christ.”  For him Christ is the name for God’s great compassion, God’s great plan, God’s readiness to fill in the gaps of human sin, brokenness, poverty, and failure.  It is not a begrudged mop-up exercise after the fact, but as John Duns Scotus taught us Franciscans, “Christ was the very first idea in the mind of God.”  “All was created through him and for him …and he holds all things in unity and reconciles all within himself” (Colossians 1:16-17, 20).  Christ is God’s master plan and blueprint for history!  Salvation was the plan from the beginning, and not a mere response to our mistakes.

So why do we make the Gospel into a cheap worthiness contest?  After all, we have all fallen short of the glory (Romans 3:23, 5:12) and all are saved by mercy (Romans 11:32-36).  Even Mary proclaims it of herself (four times!) in her “Magnificat” (Luke 1:47-55).  Popes and priests, presidents and politicians are all saved “en Cristo” and by mercy and in our undeserved state.  No exceptions.

God does not love us if we change.  God loves us so that we can change.  These are two very different scenarios, but most of Christian history has sadly chosen the first.

From the Richard’s Daily Meditations (Adapted from The Great Themes of Paul: Life as Participation (CD) by Richard Rohr)

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