FAST FOOD (AD 2019): Thirty-Second Helping
The entire Law of the Gospel is contained in the “new commandment” of Jesus to love one another as He has loved us (CCC #1970), and this “new commandment” of Jesus expresses the Father’s entire will (CCC #2822). Therefore, every Christian regardless of institutional Church affiliation is under a Divine moral imperative to incorporate this truth daily into his or her unique situation in life.
Each human being is endowed by the “Word (Logos) through whom all things were made” (Jn 1:1-2) with the ability to be logical, reasonable, rational. The place of logic, reason, rationality in a Christian’s life and by extension in the life of the Church is to figure out how to implement Jesus’ “new commandment” moment to moment. The purpose of reason, logic, rationality in the Christian’s life and/or in the Church’s life is not—and can never be—to figure out how to ignore, diminish, alter, find a substitute for, demean, de-prioritize, replace, reject or morally undercut Jesus’ “new commandment.”
As is the case with any truth, to know it is one thing, to implement it in human existence is another matter. E=mc2 was known in 1905 but to this very day people are still working on how to apply this truth in the human situation. So also is the case with any truth that exists and is known. A cognitive truth can intentionally be made operative in the human condition only by a process of trial and error. The truth itself cannot be changed. E=mc2 must remain E=mc2, or else it is not the truth. But, before E=mc2 or the “new commandment” can reveal the enormity of the power intrinsic to them it takes persevering effort to discern a truth’s depth of possibilities in the human situation and to ascertain how to access it and implement it.
The problem this poses for individual Christians, regardless of their rank in the institutional Churches, is that for the most part for the last 1700 years most Christians have not been taught and nurtured into the habit of judging in the moral moment whether something is right or wrong, God’s will or not, by inquiring of their conscience, “How would Jesus love this person, or these people, in this particular situation?” If for the last 1700 years most Christians most of the time expressly and explicitly would have had Jesus’ “new commandment” as true north on their moral compass daily and consistently employed and logically followed the Way it was showing—whatever the toll to travel such a Way—then there would now be a millennia and a half of trial and error, of experimenting by trying to live the truth of the “new commandment” to call on when trying to figure out how to love as Jesus loves in a particular situation.
At this point in Christian history there would now be yottabytes of hard-earned learned knowledge on how to implement the “new commandment,” as there is today of hard-earned learned knowledge on how to make E=mc2 operational. The cell phone was potentially there in 1905 in E=mc2 but human choices had to be made to do the work to ferret out the possibilities hidden in E=mc2. So also is the case with the “new commandment” of Jesus. If Christians and their Churches do not want to do the hard work necessary to reveal the unimaginable power and possibilities of the “new commandment,” then it will continue to be merely an effete and impotent idea having no effect in history, having no effect on the eradication of evil, fear, suffering and death. Without the difficult and painstaking trial and error work of struggling to consciously live in daily conformity with the “new commandment,” it will forever remain only a concept in the mind and will never be the bringer of the mustard seeds of Divine Life and love into the human condition by which human beings can renew the face of the earth and ultimately consciously enter into eternal union with God, who is love.
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy