2005 Ten steps toward living the Gospel todayThis is a resource for the 2005 Social Justice Statement.

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1.  Reading the gospels reflectively

Our starting point is the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.  Reading and reflecting on them will provide us with the opportunity to come to know Jesus, the Christ. 

Try replacing such phrases as “Jesus said …” and “He did …” with “You said …” and “You did …” Our reading of the Word of God will become a conversation with the Word of God.  

2.  Articulating the Gospel message

Reading and reflecting on the gospels will enable us to come to an understanding of the Gospel message as the good news of who Christ is and what Christ has done for all people and for me personally.

3.  Understanding the Gospel message in contemporary times

The gospels are not just words to read, they are the Word.  They contain a message that is relevant to today and that invites and challenges us individually and as a community to express this message through our way of being and our way of life. 

4. Responding to the challenge of the Gospel

The gospels are rich in images of encountering God and responding to God through our decisions and choices.  We cannot encounter God without being changed.  We are invited not to take the easy way of life, but to choose the way of God.  

5.  Becoming transformed

Accepting the message of the Gospel will affect not just what we do, but who we are and how we think and what we value.  This change rarely happens instantaneously.  The Gospel gradually changes our lives and transforms us as we come to value people more than things, truth more than money and grace more than revenge.

6.  Being in right relationship

Being in right relationship with oneself, God and others invites us to see people as a blessing rather than a problem.  A chance encounter can bring a moment of joy for it is often in the interruptions to our lives that we experience blessing.  Being in right relationship with the environment enables us to live in harmony with all creation.

7.  Moving towards compassionate action

Throughout the gospels we see the compassionate response of Jesus to everyone in need.  As followers of Christ, we are called to respond compassionately to the people affected by the many situations of injustice.  By overcoming our blindness to oppression and our inertia, we can have the courage to do what we can to challenge structures in society which keep people poor or marginalised.

8. Participating in the reign of God2005 Ten steps toward living the Gospel today

The Gospel is not a list of good deeds that we must perform. The Gospel is the message of God’s love and the invitation to participate in the nurturing of the reign of God in our hearts, our families and communities, and our world.  We do this through our prayer and worship, in our actions for justice, our advocacy for the poor, our care for the earth, our encouragement of our sisters and brothers, and our rejection of pessimism.

9. Resources

The 2005 Social Justice Sunday Statement, titled Jesus, Light for the World - Living the Gospel Today, is based on the Gospel accounts of the life and ministry of Jesus and considers our calling to live the Gospel today. Among other things, the Social Justice Sunday Statement highlights the amount of wealth and possessions we waste in a world where poverty affects billions of people.  A life of affluence can mean a culture of waste – it can also mean a culture of busyness in which the important things in life are neglected as we work longer and harder.

10. Prayer & Reflection

  •  Use the accompanying Prayer Card prepared by the ACSJC for personal prayer, in schools and parishes, and for family and group prayer time.
  • Reflect:
    • How am I living the Gospel today? 
    • How am I changing? 
    • Who are the people being affected by poverty and injustice in my community? 
    • What can I do to change the structures that negatively affect so many people in our world?