Recently, I read a piece that suggested that Satan uses the same tactics on us today as he did with Adam and Eve. Effectively, Satan changes the narrative of our lives; he tells us not to believe God’s great love story with us that is revealed in the Bible. He tells us that we can be a god, we can be number one; follow him and he will make us powerful beyond measure on our own. And most of us fall for this “fake news” every time. In such a world, the idea of “the common good” means nothing; it is all about me!!
This piece reminded me of what Fr. Ronald Rolheiser says in his book, “The Holy Longing: the search for a Christian Spirituality”. Fr. Ron says, “We are more busy than bad, more distracted than nonspiritual, and more interested in the movie theatre, the sports stadium and the shopping mall and the fantasy life they produce in us than we are in church.” (pg.32). These are the places where the Fake News has meaning. As long as we are distracted by these things we never think about God.
The kingdom of God tells a different story. Jesus wants a relationship with us so that He can heal us, comfort us, help us live in His Grace, and live eternally with Him. He calls us to His church so that we can learn how to do that. Jesus says, “20 My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one – 23 I in them and you in me – so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me” (Jn. 17). Jesus wants us to be “one” with Him and each other, in perfect unity and mutual love.
Satan wants us to waste our energy and our lives trying to be number one. He wants us to try to be better, to think we are better, than others. He wants us to divide the world into “us and them, winners and losers, the strong and the weak, and to put ourselves first.
Just for today, ask yourself: Whose story will I listen to? Am I working for the Kingdom of God? Am I interested in the common good? If I was working for Kingdom values how would others know? Am I listening to Fake News, or to the Good News of Jesus Christ?
Eldredge, John. Knowing the Heart of God: A Year of Devotional Readings to Help You Abide in Him. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009.
Rolheiser, Ronald. The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality. New York, NY: Doubleday, 1999.