Recently, I have given thought about what it means to be “good” in the world. Maybe I need to start with a definition of good, which is: The concept of good denotes the conduct that should be preferred when posed with a choice between possible actions. Good is generally considered to be the opposite of evil. Since we are all created by God, who is perfectly good, everyone has at least some good in them.
Although every person (even the most evil person) does good at some moment in their life, the goal of life should be to do as much good as we can in the time we are given here on earth. Now I am sure there are a lot of self-help books written and available on this topic, but I’d like to offer a few of my reflections on what “good” means to me. Note that I fail at these often and these points are in my opinion very difficult:
Put others needs in front of your own. Understand that everything you have; your material goods, your health, your time, your talents, are a gift from God. Thus, it is necessarily your responsibility to share all your gifts with others. IF God and all the goodness of God is important to you, it has to show in the way you live your life. It simply cannot help but happen. Whatever you do – do your very best every day. Doing only the very least just to get by disappoints God, and it should disappoint you as well.
So many times in my life I fall short of one or all of these goals of being “good”. In my mind, that is sinful and I ask God to forgive me for my failings. My hope is that this becomes a daily prayer for each of us: no matter where we are in life, may we all do more “good” in our lives! Deacon Jeff
A major part of Jesus’ ministry as God and man here on earth was to perform miracles. We all have some sort of idea of what a miracle is, but it is defined as an “unusual, unexpected or surprising event not explained by natural or scientific laws and therefore considered to be from a divine agency.” When we read or hear these stories from the gospel, do we really believe they happened or do we say they are simply a “coincidence”?
Just because miracles cannot be explained by natural laws, it does not mean they are a violation of nature. God and nature are not opposite of each other, but the society we live in today would like us to believe they are opposites. Jesus never worked a miracle to amaze a large group of people, even though they happened (feeding the 5000). He usually performed them with very few people around. So why is that? Jesus did not perform miracles to impress anyone. He was never paid for performing miracles. He did not perform miracles to earn a living.
So then, what exactly is the purpose of miracles, both in Jesus’ day and presently? In my humble opinion, they are to show us God exists in the world – always! Bad things happen in life; that is our human nature, our sinfulness, our brokenness. Jesus wanted everyone to understand then and now that since God created the world, there will be signs every day of God’s presence. Are you open to these signs or is the word “coincidence” a part of your daily vocabulary? Isn’t it great God gives each of us the freedom to decide for ourselves?
- Deacon Jeff