"Brothers and sisters:
I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking
the one who called you by the grace of Christ
for a different gospel (not that there is another)."
In today's first reading, St. Paul calls out the Galatians for their fickleness. They have abandoned the God that they embraced by grace. The luster of the Resurrection has apparently worn off. Following the way of Christ was cool for a while, but there's a new gospel in town.
Gospel is translated "good news." There are many things that are good news for us. Think back to the height of the shutdown response to John Krasinski's DIY news show, "Some Good News." The fact that I'm having chicken fajitas for dinner tonight is good news. The fact that one of my friends safely delivered her baby this weekend is good news. The fact that Nativity is bringing back Family Holy Hours on Wednesdays is good news.
There might be lots of good news, but there is only one Good News. Jesus Christ crucified for our iniquity, resurrected from the dead, and living for us is the Good News. Everything else pales in comparison. However, it can be challenging to remember this in our daily lives and when something more fun comes along it can be easy to get distracted without even realizing it.
Now, in the context of this reading, St. Paul correcting a false gospel that was preached to the Galatians. What seems to have happened is that someone else came in after Paul and preached a different gospel. It wasn't meant to simply distract, but rather distort and replace. The dangerous thing about many false "Christian" gospels is that they contain a kernal of truth. Take the prosperity gospel preached by people like Kenneth Copeland and Joel Osteen. They might talk about Jesus's death on the cross for sin, but to say that you'll know you're favored by God if you're healthy, wealthy, and beautiful is directly contrary to the Gospel of Christ. The bible makes abundantly clear that a life of suffering awaits those who follow the true Gospel, joyful, meaningful suffering, but suffering nonetheless.
So whether we hear a heresy or a distraction, be vigilant. Seek to know the true Gospel like the back of your hand. Be aware when lies and distractions try to sneek into your life.
-Amanda Benner, Director of Evangelization