Monday, March 28, 2011

Can it be so simple?

The first reading today addresses what may Christianity's most difficult marketing problem; it's too simple. All you have to do is look at the supernatural that people are attracted to, and how it is portrayed in movies.

In the first reading today we find the main character naaman the leper who walks away when he is told that all he needs to do is go down to the river and bathe. Naaman wants incantations, waving hands, and some kind grueling demand. When he is told that all he has to do is bathe in the river, he walks away. Thankfully, his servants reason with him.

Today even some Catholics find the return to the original simplicity of Roman Liturgy too simple. With The simplest of bread (flour and water), wine and water, and simple words of consecration Christ becomes present in our midst. The penances given in confession tend to be simple prayers. Each sacrament a simple gesture, words, and some simple matter (eg. water or oil). Even the prayer, fasting, almsgiving required for Lent can seem too simple.

What we can loose sight of is that it's not about us, it's about God: God's power, God's grace, God's love. Do we have to do something? Yes. But the center always remains God's action, not ours.