Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taking Responsibility


(first posted june 23, 2009. this post has been edited from the original)

The Catholic Worker cofounder Peter Maurin said, "The future will be different if we make the present different." I like this quote because it reminds us that we, you and I, are responsible for the future. 
I say this with all seriousness. 
Of course, the Almighty is, moment by moment, somehow moving toward the implementation of his kingdom project, a project which began tangibly with the death and resurrection of the Christ. But this should not be taken to mean that we are exempt and sidelined as watchers. While, we do not bring in the kingdom -- this comes only by an act of grace -- we who name the name of that carpenter from Judea are certainly called to be contributors to his kingdom.
This means, among other things, that what we do in the here and now really matters. Said another way, to build our little kingdom while the rest of the world goes to hell is not only incredibly short-sighted, it’s also anti-gospel. Or, said still another way, to think we are not responsible for our part of the world because we are waiting for God to return so that he might dump the entire works and escape this ugly mess completely misses the point of the cross and Jesus’ destruction of radical evil. 

For now, we share in the sufferings of the crucified one; for now we carry our cross daily; for now we follow in his steps. There is no triumph, not now, there is only brokenness and the last great enemy death, and our struggle with it. 
“Look at the fields,” says Jesus, “they are ripe unto harvest...but the laborers are few...” 
We must look at our field for it too is ripe for the message of the kingdom, ripe for the message that the king has arrived and offers new life and a new way to live.