We cannot earn heaven on our own, but we can lose it on our own.

Monday, 6/4/12

Today’s first reading is attributed to St. Peter, but it is actually some of Peter’s ideas brought together by one of Peter’s followers. The follower who actually did the writing used long complicated sentences that would have puzzled Peter the fisherman. Still, there is a fine message here.

The reading speaks about the Christian’s privilege of sharing in God’s divine nature, what Catholics were schooled to see as living in the state of grace.

That state of grace is certainly an immense privilege. It turns animals like us into  heavenly creatures. But, what this reading tells us is that our transformation into heavenly creatures does not come without a price.

Martin Luther was right in saying that we cannot become heavenly creatures by our own efforts. He was right in saying grace is God’s gift all the way.

However, while it is true that we cannot earn heaven, what today’s reading tells us is that by our bad behavior we can throw it away.

So, the reading says, “Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self control, and all of this with mutual love.

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