3rd Sunday of the Year (B) 2018

Jesus of Nazareth did not come to start a new religion.
He did not come to bring us new doctrine.
He came to bring us ‘Good News.’
What is ‘good news.’
( Imagine you are in a dead end job. You and your family are struggling to make ends meet. You constantly fear eviction from your house because of arrears in rent. Then you get an official letter from an attorney in America informing you that a far out relative, of whom you have never heard, has died leaving three million dollars. After a long search you are found to be the nearest living relative. After costs you are due two million dollars and sixty five cents.)
This will certainly qualify as good news. This well certainly change your life. It will involve a change in attitude.
(Imagine you are diagnosed with cancer. Tests suggest it is very aggressive with a very poor prognosis. You are operated on with little hope of success. Post operatively you are informed that it is nothing as aggressive as feared and was successfully removed in its entirety and there is no reason why you should not live to a ripe old age.)
This will certainly qualify as good news. This will change your life. This will involve a change in attitude.
What ‘Good News’ did Jesus of Nazareth bring me?
For me the Good News is that we are all God’s children. We are all brothers and sisters. My Creator is intimately involved in every aspect of my life. My God is totally committed to my physical and spiritual wellbeing.
This situation is not and cannot be merited, achieved, gained, or earned in any way, no matter what I do. It is pure gift. Given freely with no strings attached. The only input I have is to accept the free gift or reject it.
I think that this is great news.
This Good News has the added perk of involving resurrection from death and sharing Eternal Life with God.
To be authentic the motivation for all religion must be gratitude.
Unfortunately religion is often presented as the way to merit or gain or win Eternal Life.
This is false religion and is insulting to God.
All theology and Scripture must be interpreted in the light of the above facts. If theology, doctrine, or scripture does not seem to fit in with the above then these discrepancies must be reappraised and reinterpreted.
Basically prayer must be contemplation of, thinking about, these gifts from God so that our hearts might overflow with gratitude.
Irrespective of what my life is like, the very fact that I live, have being, exist, am conscious of myself and of things around me is, in itself a fantastic gift.