Who doesn’t like good news? When someone comes home and says, “I have good news!”, don’t you just feel better already, before you even hear what the good news is?
Then there is church. At Mass the same phrase is used: “Good News”. Sometimes it is translated into “gospel” which is Greek for good news. We hear the priest talk about the “Good News”, but it is always assumed that everyone knows what this particular good news is all about. So much so that no one asks, “So Father, this good news you mentioned in your homily today, what exactly is it?” because we don’t want to look stupid.
I understand this. Long have I spent time in ignorance about many different things for fear that people would discover how ignorant I was. That is until I decided to break the ignorance cycle and started asking questions.
This church good news is mentioned early in the Gospel of St. Luke via the angels to the shepherds:
“Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” -Luke 2:10-11
The good news is that a Savior has been born. OK, great, but then Luke reports Jesus saying:
“I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God…” -Luke 4:43
So, the good news is about the Savior and the Kingdom of God. What exactly IS the news? It is this – the Savior, Jesus, is the Son of God and He has come to free us from sin, so that we can enter Heaven. Thus our sins are not only forgiven, but we will have supernatural help in combating sin so we will sin less and less. Jesus did this by dying and rising so that we can be given the saving grace needed to enter Heaven. Furthermore, Jesus has created a Church to give us this saving grace via the sacraments, as well as to preserve and teach the truths God has revealed to us.
You may be thinking, “Hey, I knew that!” Yes, but now you know it’s the good news!