A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, August 27, 2007

The coming wrath

People often denounce Christianity and some other religions as espousing an “angry God”. This accusation is even made by “liberal” Christians against their more “conservative” brethren.

The perception of God as “angry”, however, is not the invention of power-hungry, emotionally-disturbed clerics. It is an inescapable element of Judeo-Christian revelation: even in the New Testament.

Indeed, today’s first reading (1 Thessalonians 1:1-5, 8b-10) ends with a reference to “the coming wrath.”

Nor is “the coming wrath” a perception put forward by divine revelation or religion alone. We live in an angry universe: full of terrible and destructive things that afflict the human spirit and sometimes crush whole populations of human beings mercilessly.

And of course, human beings are very often full of anger themselves and far too often unleash their own wrath upon each other.

When Scripture speaks of the wrath of God, it invariably refers to the evil consequences of evil deeds: consequences that will be felt by the evildoers themselves in the eternal scales of justice.

God is not indifferent to evil and so, by his power and in the unfolding of his eternal plan, evil will be overcome and wiped away.

Yet while God hates evil, he also loves his creation, most especially humanity: the special fruit of his creation which he subsequently bound to himself in the Incarnation.

That Incarnation is precisely the context of Paul’s reference in today’s reading: “Jesus, who delivers us from the coming wrath.”

May you and I never be indifferent to evil, within ourselves or within the world.

May we open ourselves to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: so that we may be filled with his grace and walk through a world of wrath according to God’s ways of justice and mercy.