The Good News

Scriptural Foundations Fall 08 - Personal Approbation Paper by Carlo Juanola

 

Many people hear the term ‘the Gospel’ but do not know the meaning and implication that it has on the world.    The Gospel is the good news, which is the message of Jesus Christ.  Specifically, the message of the good news involves Jesus’ passion, resurrection, ascension, descent of the Holy Spirit as helper, and the promise and hope of salvation for the world.  This message of Jesus Christ is transformative in the way that it opens people’s eyes to see life in a new light.  Suffering is no longer meaningless but redemptive when one meditates on Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.  The Good News is a message that has a life of its own, and is one that continually gives meaning and purpose to people’s lives.
                The Good News of Jesus Christ gives consolation and hope for people who are searching for happiness and meaning in their lives.  It is the message of hope and love within the good news that has helped me to cope with many difficulties in life.  In the past, and sometimes to this very day, I have struggled in my walk with God because of my selfish desires and weaknesses.  However, it is the message of the Good News that reminds me that I cannot not live for this world but for the life to come.  In reflection, I realize how the Good News has been instrumental in helping me to understand my vocation as a husband and father to my family.  
                The family is a reflection of the Good News of Jesus because He preached a message of unconditional and self-sacrificing love.  God has blessed me with a loving wife, two children, and a supportive immediate and extended family.   In hind sight, I now realize that it was God speaking to me through all the ups and downs that accompany family life.   For example, there were times when my wife and I had disagreements over finances or particularities in raising the children.  All the while, God was telling me that I could no longer act like I was living for myself, but instead I must live on behalf of others, namely my children.  It is instances like these that we can see the message of the Good News amidst the stress, emotional pain, and suffering in family life.  In the end, it is the Good News of Jesus’ life that affirms that our sufferings bring about a greater good, and reveal what is most important in life. 

It is very interesting and rewarding to see how people respond when the good news of Jesus Christ is presented to them.  In my involvement in our youth retreat apostolate, we have Eucharistic adoration on the Saturdays of our retreats, and we always challenge our candidates to reflect on their own sufferings.  During this time I see how young people discover how they relate to Jesus’ sufferings with their own.  I see them enter an intimate moment with God, and for the first time many experience an awareness of the presence of God.  They begin to see that they are not alone in their troubles, and that there is always hope in the Good News of Jesus Christ. 

The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ summarizes the Good News for all of humanity.  Its meaning is not always readily apparent in the world today, and living it is a continual process of growth.   Specifically, living the Good News is a commitment of unconditional love because that is the life of Jesus Christ.   Examining the Good News is a chance to continually renew one’s life and purpose by dying to one’s self and living for God.  This is the call of the Good News, which is to step out of the darkness and into the light of God’s grace.