August 22, 2011 - Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today's Readings

As St. Paul writes in the first reading today, “our Gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction.” So the Gospel does come in words but not in words alone. The word “gospel” means “good news”. When we tell someone about good news, it is obvious that the good news has an existence beyond our words. Good news is an event that changes reality. We can talk about the event; we can talk about the new reality, but our words will always fail to capture something. The words of the Gospel can be as simple as “Jesus Christ died and rose again”, or the words could be expanded to fill all the books that could fit on earth. Still, the words, considered by themselves, will fall short of the good news.

We ought to expect more from our good news than mere words; we ought to expect power and the Holy Spirit and much conviction. The power of good news is how the event has changed reality. Consider the power of a peace treaty that ends a war: people return home; there is no more fighting. How much more powerful is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ! Death has been conquered; the reign of sin is ended. Has the Gospel changed reality? Perhaps you and I cannot sense the change, but we can see the martyrs who prove that Christ has conquered death.

The Gospel comes with much conviction. If we hear about a hero, we begin to think, “Could I be a hero? Am I strong enough and brave enough and good enough to do what they did?” When we hear about the Gospels, we should wonder, “Could I love as much as Jesus loves?” Anything less is a failure, and we are convicted of our failure, and we strive to do better.

The Gospel comes in the Holy Spirit. This aspect is special to the Gospel. No other good news comes in the Holy Spirit. He dwells within us so that the power of the Gospel is ongoing and personal. In the Holy Spirit, we can love like Jesus. In the Holy Spirit, our own death has been conquered. Because of the Holy Spirit, the good news is not something external to us but is taking place right now within our hearts.