I suppose a glass of muddy water can appear as a cup of coffee. That is, until you taste it. I suppose, also, that we can appear as Christians-with all our making the 'sign of the cross,' with our Sunday Church attendance, with our Bible study, with the fancy cross around our neck.
That is, until you meet us.
Being Christian (and being Catholic) isn't, after all, a club membership. It is, rather, new life, resurrected from death, in the freely given Mercy of God, in Jesus Christ.
It's high time we put a little Jesus in our Christianity!
"Anguish has taken wing, dispelled is darkness:
for there is no gloom where but now there was distress.
The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light..." Isaiah 8:23--9:3
Light shines twice in our life. First, the Light of Christ shines on our spiritual, and moral, bankruptcy, in sin, and shows us the utter despair and anguish we have constructed in our self-sufficiency. Without a little Jesus in our lives, we are nothing but sad little sinners. Yet, upon conversion, and baptism, we tend to think that we are just fine--in no need of further renovation. Ha!
Catholics, and Christians, still sin. Darkness still resides in what theologians call concupiscence. In other words, we still lust, we still swear, we still gossip, bully, manipulate, whine, cheat a little, steal a little, and even kill a little--at least in mean words, and in the intent of our hearts.
Repentance is as Catholic, and Christian, a daily necessity, every day, as it was in our first conversion.
"The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?" Psalm 27:1, 4, 13-14
You'd think with all the Eucharistic hosts received by Catholics, and all the gospel hymns sung by the 'Christians,' fear would be that last thing in the hearts of the disciples of Jesus.
True faith drives out all fear. A mustard seed of faith moves mountains. Well, in America, our mountains haven't been moving much lately. Too many so called Catholics, and Christians, fear social rejection, and isolation, if they don't cow-tow to Political Correctness, to popular culture, to societal ideologies, that all run smack in the face of the gospel.
It's time we actually believed, received God's grace, and boldly renounced all of the B.S.!
“'I belong to Paul,” or 'I belong to Apollos,'
or 'I belong to Cephas,' or 'I belong to Christ.'
Is Christ divided?
Was Paul crucified for you?
Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?" 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
First came Judas, then came the East/West split in the 11th century, then came the 'reformation,' then came a gazillion 'denominational,' and 'non-denominational' splits in the One Body of Jesus. And it continues in 'traditionalists' versus 'progressives' ad nauseam.
When are we gonna cut the crap and act like we have the Spirit of Jesus in us?
You know...the world IS watching?
"As he was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers,
Simon who is called Peter, and his brother Andrew,
casting a net into the sea; they were fishermen.
He said to them,
'Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.'” Matthew 4:12-23
It's about time we cut out all our (individualistic) nonsense, dropping everything (worldly) we cling to, and simply FOLLOWED Jesus. For Catholics, this would mean listening to the Apostolic Church for once...really LIVING the Eucharistic Life. For everyone else who follows Jesus it would mean living the gospel on Jesus' terms...not on societies watered down terms.
Either way, this world desperately needs Christianity with a little more Jesus in us.
What do you think? firstname.lastname@example.org