Monday, June 29, 2009
“The whole history of salvation is identical with the history of the way and the means by which the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, reveals himself to men “and reconciles and unites with himself those who turn away from sin.” (CCC part one, paragraph 2, pg. 70) Michael Jackson was irresponsible with his gifts and talents, bestowed on him from God. He had the means to help untold numbers of people give glory to God, and instead he lived as though glory was his due, not God’s.
The fact that we can even equate some of Michael Jackson’s idiosyncrasies with true greatness is bothersome. He boasted of his sinfulness, broadcasting his many indulgences, taking advantage of those willing to help him, subjecting his kids to an unprecedented living style, brandishing his fame to cast out the children's mothers. This was no god, folks. Nor was he a role model for those who love the one true God. He was a mixed up human being, who needs our prayers even in death.
Michael could sing and dance. Another person is the ultimate gardener. Still another has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Military men defend the oppressed, and preserve freedom throughout the world. Nurses offer compassion to those who suffer. Children sing to make their mother well on “America’s Got Talent.” Yes, there are all sorts of people who deserve recognition for their talents. But God alone is Great, united as one in the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
Upon responding to the supremacy of God, Catholics recognize the need for repentance and the judgment of God when we declare, “From thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.” We accept the gift of free will that allows us the choice to turn away from God’s grace, and doom our souls to hell if we so choose to ignore His Mercy. For it is only through God’s Mercy that we are to be saved.
We know Jesus will return in the fullness of His Glory, and all people will be held accountable for their actions. The Catholic Catechism affirms God’s Revelation in this. We also know that when this happens, the Kingdom of God will continue for the rest of time.
There is a definitive dignity men have by being made in the Image of Christ. We are not mere creatures. We are fellow human beings, and heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven. This requires unquestionable trust in God’s goodness, expressed with faith in the Trinity. We turn away from ourselves, changing our priorities, and recognizing Christ as our ultimate goal.