Sunday, August 14, 2016

Do they know we are Christians by our love

As Catholic Christians, we have the rock, we have the truth, we have power.  Jesus has told us that he is the way, the truth, and the life and that he is the way to the Father.  Jesus told us that he has already won victory over the evil one.  We cannot keep this message to ourselves.  Our broken world needs Jesus now more than ever.    
For most of us, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ isn't in our comfort zone.  We'd probably rather just keep quiet and not get involved. But, as baptized Christians, our mission is to lead everyone to Christ by our loving, joyful, and hopeful, words and actions.  We often sing:  "They'll know we are Christians by our love."  Do people we meet really know that we are Christians by our love or are we just the same as everyone else?

After the priest was killed in France, I decided that I needed to do something to show that I'm a Christian and a deacon in the Catholic Church.  Deacons in this Archdiocese cannot wear clerics, like priests can.  So that option is out.  But, I can wear a deacon cross on my collar whenever I go out.  The cross indicates that I am a Christian and the red stole over the cross indicates that I am a deacon.  Now, I realize that this is a little thing.  But, I hope that this will be a small witness to my faith and my vocation.  I would suggest that all of us wear a cross.  This would provide a great example of who we serve, Jesus Christ.  It also encourages us to act as Christians wherever we are.
As Catholic Christians and members of Jesus' church, why are so many of us afraid to bless ourselves and say grace in public?  When the person at the checkout counter greets us with “happy holidays,” why are we afraid to respond, “Merry Christmas to you”?  And why do we think that Jesus came to bring us a false peace where nobody is offended, no one is called to task?  And, why do we think we have come to hear an easy Gospel, be lulled into a false security, and belong to a religion that costs us nothing?           
The Gospel today calls all of us to a faith that is not cheap, not wimpy, not politically correct.  Which is why only fire can describe it so well!  Am I fully committed to being a disciple of Jesus?  What am I willing to sacrifice for Him?