Homily...Christianity is not primarily about being good

I remember those times in elementary school when the gym teacher decided we were going to play baseball in the church parking lot. Two students would be told to choose their teammates. Let's just say that I wasn't the first choice...or the second, or the third... You get the picture. I just wasn't good enough. 

But when it comes to following Christ, we are not chosen because we are good. We are chosen because God is good. Jesus invited Zaccheaus into a personal relationship. But not because Zaccheaus was good. He was a tax collector, aka a cheater. He was likely not religious & certainly not popular. He didn't even climb the tree because he wanted to follow Jesus but only to see why Jesus was so popular. But after Jesus spoke to him, he decided to do good by giving money to the poor and paying back those he extorted. 

The goal of Christianity is not to become more ethical or moral people. It is important that we learn to do what is right and good, but Christianity is first about having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Faith is a response to God's offer of friendship. Only after we respond can we hope to imitate God's goodness.