August 5, 2018 - Abundance

So, they said to him, "What can we do to accomplish the works of God?"
Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent." 

John 6:28-29

This small excerpt from this Sunday’s Gospel is extraordinary.

Last week, we heard about the abundance of God.  The multiplication of loaves and fishes could not be more obvious: God gives a trophy to every child.  We hate that, but He does it. It’s good – truly – to be the best you can be – but don’t expect God to reward you more than he who fails.

The excerpt I’ve chosen from this Sunday’s Gospel reading really says the same thing.  How do you accomplish the works of God?  With simple belief.  Ah ha! So, you have to believe in correct dogma!  Or believe in the Incarnation! Or believe in the existence of God!

No.  You cannot believe something by sheer force of will, or to receive reward or avoid punishment.  More importantly, no loving God would require it.  What Jesus is saying is existential: You cannot accomplish the works of God.  Or better yet – they have been accomplished for you.

It is good news. 

Photo: Cathedral Rock, Arizona