Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Cantalamessa's homily

Two Sundays ago, Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal Household under Pope John Paul II, preached at HTB. His talk was good and had about 19 major points, but the one point that stuck with me was that following Jesus requires Christians to do exactly the opposite of what the world says.

Some examples are:
  • Narrow is the road to Jesus, but once we are on the road, it is wide with freedom. Yet the road of the world is wide, but as we travel along it our freedom diminishes.
  • Death gives life. Christians only have life through the death of Jesus, but the world says "live it up because this is all we've got!" Everyone is afraid of death because it means the end, yet for Christians it is merely the beginning of true living.
  • Pain then pleasure. The Christian ethic is not an easy one. We have to abstain from many of the "pleasures" of the world, but through that psuedo-pain we experience true pleasure. Yet the world says, "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad." which for too many people all too often it leads to real pain.

Can my audience offer up some more examples? I am interested because I've sorta forgotten how radical the message of Jesus is to the unchurched. I'm doing a little refresher course here at Page 132. :-)