Fruit of the Holy Spirit // Goodness

Lord of all power and might, the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of your Name; increase in us true religion; nourish us with all goodness; and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen

“For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness” Wisdom 7:26

Matthew 19:16-30

What does it mean to be good? Does it just mean following a set of rules? Does it just mean not killing people or stealing? Or does it mean going beyond the norm? If you want to know how to be good, you need to know what goodness is. Goodness isn’t just the opposite of evil or donating to charity or being nice to everybody. It means going above and beyond what you are comfortable with in order to help others. 

Many superheroes are a great example of what it means to be good. Captain America, Wonder Woman, and Supergirl all fight evil, but they do so out of a conviction of knowing what the right thing to do is. They are all selfless people, putting aside their needs for the task at hand. 

What can we, as ordinary people, do in order to be good? Following His commandments is a start, but He also calls us to give up our desires to be comfortable, the desire for others’ approval, and our own selfish egos. How can we clothe the naked or feed the hungry when we would rather hoard everything? How can we visit prisons or the sick if we think that people, for some reason or another “deserve” to be in prison or fear that we may contract whatever sickness lurks in those hospitals? 

One thing that all the superheroes I love have in common is that they empathize with those around them. Wonder Woman marveled at the simplest things in 20th century England, from a mother who was cradling her child to a simple vendor selling ice cream. She was willing to go where few dared to venture in order to save a village of people held captive by the Germans. Captain America was willing to risk everything for his friend, Bucky, even if it meant losing his place with the Avengers. Supergirl selflessly raised an alien prison to the depths of space to make sure that it would self-destruct without creating collateral damage.

Being a good person means being selfless and putting aside your own needs for other people.

To Jesus through Mary-Monique Ocampo