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Goodness, Then and Now


Editor’s Note: DCSC volunteer Erin Brown enters this new year in contemplation of the word “good” and what that can look like. Inspired by Fr. Mike Schmitz’ “Bible in a Year” podcast, she reflects on this word from both the context of the Bible to her own life. 

In the New Year, I have been listening to the “Bible in a Year” podcast. In this podcast, Fr. Mike Schmitz, reads and discusses books of the Bible, starting with the beginning in Genesis.

“And God saw that it was good.” is repeated five times in Genesis 1.

“It was good.”

The way “good” is written in this part of the Bible comes with a sense of purity and righteousness. “Good” in the context of the Word is unlike how it is used today. I looked up the definition of “good” in which there are over 10 definitions. But as it is written here, it is clear that God is designing the earth with a sense of moral honorability, incorruptibility, and sinlessness.

The repetition of the word “good” made me think of how we use the word today in the present; and how frequently we use it. I thought about how many times we greet people by asking, “How are you?” to which the other usually responds, “I’m good.” In this sense, the way we use good is defined as an informal way of saying “well”. It used to frustrate me, all the “I’m goods” I received. I used to wish that people would give me a more honest answer. However, after this year, I have recognized how incredible it is for a person to be good.

Good means well. Well means satisfactory. This year has taught me to be okay with being “satisfactory”. I used to strive for going above and beyond and always trying to be more than “satisfactory”. But with this year bringing much turmoil, I was reminded that being satisfactory is not a bad thing.

So, this year, I hope that we can all be good. I never used to aim for good. But goodness is sort of like contentment. And contentment is like peacefulness.

May peace be with you all in 2021.

Erin is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from John Carroll University in 2019. At JCU, she majored in Human Resources Management and minored in Entrepreneurship and Peace, Justice and Human Rights. Erin deeply committed to service and investing in human development. During her time, she hope to foster new talents while also positively contributing to the well being of each individual served with the Father McKenna Center (FMC). Erin is grateful for the opportunity to serve the DC area directly and live in community with the other incredible volunteers!