BY JAMES HUG S.J | January 3, 2014
There are so many claims to be at the heart of it all!
These are from the Mass for the Epiphany:
‘All nations will come to you, radiant Jerusalem.’
[based on Isaiah 60:1-6]
“God’s Chosen People” with divine right to “The Promised Land”
“We belong to God, and anyone who knows God listens to us,
while anyone who does not belong to God refuses to hear us.
This is how we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of deceit.” [1 John 4]
Here is the Catholic version:
“The Catholic Church is the One true Church.”
The U.S. version:
‘There is no other nation or people in the history of the world like America.’
ISIS even claims it:
Who is right? Who is to be believed?
How do we show we have the truth? That we are unique and most important?
The Tea Party appeals to a fundamentalist reading of the U.S. Constitution.
The Catholic Church appeals to the authority of the pope and bishops and tradition.
There are a variety of fundamentalist interpretations of the Christian andMuslim scriptures (and every other religion of a book).
My epiphany for the Epiphany?
The good news of Jesus was “Rethink your life, your faith! The Reign of God is right here at hand.” [Mt. 4:17]
It isn’t in Jerusalem or Rome or Mecca.
It isn’t in the Constitution or the Bhagavad Gita or even in John 3:16.
It is all around us, within us.
There is no single center to which all must or may turn, not even Jesus himself.
God pervades, permeates all, reveals in every way imaginable.
James E. Hug, S.J., has a long history working in social ethics and social justice advocacy in the Catholic community. He served 24 years as the President of the Center of Concern, a Washington, DC based social justice institute rooted in Catholic social tradition, working for greater economic, social, and ecological justice globally. He holds a doctoral degree in Christian ethics from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in Christian spirituality from St. Louis University.
Fr. Hug’s research has focused on issues of faith and economic justice and he has lectured and directed workshops throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia. Currently he serves as sacramental minister for the Adrian Dominican Sisters and writes on issues of spirituality for social transformation in these difficult times. His blog, “Truth that does Justice,” can be found on the website for the Dominican Center: Spirituality for Mission, www.dominicancenter.org.
Past publications have included Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret, Social Revelation: Profound Challenge for Christian Spirituality, and Tracing the Spirit: Communities, Social Action, and Theological Reflection. Jim has also written chapters for Globalization and Catholic Social Thought: Present Crisis, Future Hope and The Pastoral Circle Revisited: A Critical Quest for Truth and Transformation.
Fr. Hug’s research has focused on issues of faith and economic justice and her has lectured and directed workshops throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. He was the editor of the Center of Concern’s “Catholic Social Teaching: Our Best Kept Secret, author of Social Revelation: Profound Challenge for Christian Spirituality,” and the editor of “Tracing the Spirit: Communities, Social Action, and Theological Reflection.” Jim has also written chapters for “Globalization and Catholic Social Thought: Present Crisis, Future Hope” and “The Pastoral Circle Revisited: A Critical Quest for Truth and Transformation.”