Lincoln’s Log 10-25-2020

The Law and the Gospel (Kerygma)

“‘Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?’ Jesus responded, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment.’ ”
Mt. 22:36-38

Last week, I wrote that the heart of the Gospel “is not primarily about words or doctrines or laws or structures or systems. The Gospel is about a person.” Our reading from Matthew’s Gospel this week clearly makes this same point.

When asked by a scholar of the law about the greatest commandment, Jesus does not point to any particular behavior that is commanded, but rather to a person’s relationship with God. Rather than behavioral compliance, Jesus roots greatness in a personal loving bond with God. This bond affects the person at every level (heart, mind, soul, strength). Jesus interprets the law in the context of love.

What does this mean for us?

It means that everything we do needs to be rooted in an ongoing encounter with our loving God. This is the Gospel. It is personal. It affects every level of our being. It changes our behavior, not because of our own willpower, but because of the grace of God given to us in Jesus. We do not initiate this relationship. “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins” (1 Jn. 4:10). We are called to respond to this invitation to a new way of life.

St. Augustine famously said, “Love God, and do what you will.” As we respond to the loving invitation of God to new life, we are transformed and our actions become more loving. The law can show us what love looks like, but it cannot change our hearts. Only the Gospel, a loving encounter with Jesus, has the power to change our hearts.

Today, right now, take a moment to invite Jesus into your heart and into your life. Give Him permission to affect you at every level and change the way you think, feel, and act. Say “yes” to the Gospel and live a life of love!

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln
Parish Pastoral Leader

Our Pilot Podcast is finally here!

The Image of God, Love, and the Devil Exploring His Kingdom

We explore Wisdom 2:23-24What does it mean to be created as the Image of GodWhat is love?Who is the devil and how does he affect us?
  1. The Image of God, Love, and the Devil
  2. Homily 6-13-2021 Ordinary Time Week 11 The Kingdom of God
  3. Homily on the Holy Trinity 5-29-21
  4. Homily Easter Week 6 5-9-2021 version 2
  5. Homily Easter Week 6 5-9-2021

Lincoln’s Log 10-18-2020

Why Kerygma?

“For our gospel did not come to you in word alone, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with much conviction. ”
1 Thes. 1:5b

Last week in this Log we looked at some of the core scriptural expressions of the Kerygma. This kerygma is the core content of the Gospel message. But why is the church returning to this basic proclamation?

The reasons are pretty simple. The kerygma is the seed from which everything else the church does flows. The kerygma is an encounter with Jesus Christ. As Paul writes to the Thessalonians (above), the Gospel is not primarily about words or doctrines or laws or structures or systems. The Gospel is about a person. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said it this way,

Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with an event, a person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction. (Deus Caritas Est #1)

Everything we do is changed by our encounter with Jesus. The kerygma proclaims and makes present this encounter which opens up “a new horizon” and gives our lives “a decisive direction.”

As we reboot faith formation (now called Discipleship Formation), we return to the seeds of faith so that we can find our new horizon and direction. We are hoping to make this year a foundation to build on. The heart of the Gospel must be our guide. As our church teaches, “At the center of every process of catechesis is the living encounter with Christ” (GDC #75). As we reboot, I want to challenge each of us to return to the seed of our faith.

For a fuller explanation of the Kerygma, visit the St. Thomas More Facebook page and the Discipleship Formation playlist. You can also tune in to the “Exploring His Kingdom” podcast. But most importantly, open your heart for a new beginning. The seed of God’s love has been planted in you at baptism. Return to the source and encounter the Lord anew!

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln
Parish Pastoral Leader

Lincoln’s Log 10-11-2020

The Kerygma and a Podcast

“On that day it will be said: ‘Behold our God, to whom we looked to save us! This is the Lord for whom we looked; let us rejoice and be glad that he has saved us!’”
Is. 25:9

Our church is taking a good, deep look at the way we make disciples. One of the key insights that has come out of this exploration is that we need to return to a focus on the basic proclamation of the gospel. This core proclamation, often called the kerygma, is the heart of our faith. As disciples, this kerygma forms our own heartbeat as well.

So what is it?

There are lots of ways to explain and proclaim the core of the Gospel, but here are some short lines from Scripture which take us straight to the heart of Jesus’ mission:

  • “Jesus is the Son of God, Emmanuel, God with us” (Cf. Mt. 1:23)
  • “The kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe the gospel” (Mk. 1:15)
  • “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16)
  • “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn. 10:10)
  • Jesus of Nazareth “went about doing good and healing all (Acts 10:38)
  • “Jesus our Lord, who was put to death for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rm 4:25)
  • “Jesus is Lord” (1 Cor. 12:3)
  • “Christ died for our sins” (1 Cor. 15:3)
  • “The Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Gal. 2:20)

Which of these verses speaks most deeply to you?

This month in our Discipleship Formation, we will be focusing on the kerygma, the core of the Gospel. Consider committing one of these short verses to memory. Let it roll around in your heart and mind this month. Also, explore the question of the week and be sure to share a meaningful meal, pray, read the bible, and share your faith with someone.

Another resource to consider is listening to the “Exploring His Kingdom” podcast. You can listen to the trailer here.

Peace,

Dcn. Lincoln

Parish Pastoral Leader