The Bible in Dialogue with Questions of the DayLooking forward with Christian vision
Personal and community vision sustains in times of distress and give direction in distress and in prosperity. We have good examples of what this means in this Sunday’s readings. Israel, God’s people, had sinned, and from any human point of view had little hope of any future. But the prophetic voices that challenged them when sinful, brought confidence when all seemed lost. Christian vision is not something heroic, for the few. We have seen the apostles and other followers struggle with faith in Christ, and being gradually brought to a deeper vision of their Christian calling.
There is great need today for believers in Christ to renew the Christian vision of what life here, and hereafter, is about. The New Testament presents such a vision, and the early Church lived it. In Christ there was a new creation: “Behold I make all things new”. The Christian vision of the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, and Christian life in general has moulded society for centuries. It has influenced art, literature, and many walks of life.
The Christian vision of life is centred on Christ. It is for all believers, not just for the few. It is something is lived. It gains its strength from Christ’s promise to be with his Church always, just as the God of Israel had promised his own people in time of distress and exile. Awareness of sin, of failure on the part of clerics or others, may dim this desire to pay attention to Christ’s vision of life. But this should not be so. Failure in one way or another is part of history. The apostles and the first followers of Christ are not presented in Mark’s gospels as models. Quite the contrary. The failure of God’s own people before the exile and during it did not impede later prophets from putting before them the great vision of their future. God would be with them.
Today we can learn from the message of scripture not to dim our Christian vision, or become despondent from weaknesses and sins within the Church. Faith is something that develops, from partial blindness to full vision. Let us pray that the Church, all of us, may regain the Christian vision, and come to a better understanding of the Church’s mission, to proclaim Christ as the light of all nations, the light of humanity.