Sociologists tell us that much of life is reactionary. Life comes at us at point blank range and we must react. We are learning something about that right now and in no uncertain terms. Under such circumstances fatalism emerges as an explanation of events. We have no real control of anything.
There is something to this. The impacted character of the modern world reflects forces that are akin to the principalities and powers of which the New Testament speaks. They are on the loose and on our hands. And because the enlightened, scientific world has decided that the spiritual is bunk, we are left to ourselves to invent ways to describe and attempt some kind of control of events and the forces that are their causes. This self-management project brings mixed results, to say the least.
Jesus said to His disciples, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” This wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement of humanity’s competency apart from God. It is a flat statement of a sobering truth. The human project, broken from its’ moorings to the Living God, will inevitably be shipwrecked. This is among the clearest lessons of history. But it’s only part of the story.
The one who made this statement, pointing out our powerlessness, is also the one who has committed Himself to us in love, who gave Himself on the cross and was raised for our justification. Knowing this, St. Paul could say, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” The Christian life is proactive because it is rooted in the God who “seeks and saves the lost.” All the verbs in the New Testament which describe the activity of the Church and the individual Christian, have one subject…God in Christ working through the Holy Spirit.
Apart from this God the world and the Church have no prospects. With Him, all things are possible and a gracious, hopeful future is assured.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in
Jesus Christ our Lord.”