Wednesday, April 30, 2014

“You must dare, and dare again, and then dare a little bit more, and go on daring.”

“Let us be today’s Christians. Let us not take fright at the boldness of today’s church. With Christ’s light let us illuminate even the most hideous caverns of the human person: torture, jail, plunder, want, chronic illness. The oppressed must be saved, not with a revolutionary salvation, in mere human fashion, but with the holy revolution of the Son of Man, who dies on the cross to cleanse God’s image, which is soiled in today’s humanity, a humanity so enslaved, so selfish, so sinful.” - Archbishop Oscar A. Romero, (The Violence of Love)

Gospel Text: (JN 3:16-21)
God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.
And this is the verdict,
that the light came into the world,
but people preferred darkness to light,
because their works were evil.
For everyone who does wicked things hates the light
and does not come toward the light,
so that his works might not be exposed.
But whoever lives the truth comes to the light,
so that his works may be clearly seen as done in God.

What will we do with the light we have?

It seems as if this modern age is bent on “tolerance”, on “acceptance”, on not offending anyone. We are often told not to share our opinions too adamantly, or to express our values with too much zeal, for fear they will upset another. While we always need to be respectful of someone else’s beliefs, these other values should not be values for “all times” (Psalm 34:2).

Our faith needs to be intentional and obvious. Not an in-your-face, show-off faith, but a faith that seeks to be clearly and easily evident.

This evident faith can manifest itself in many forms: When we interact with others, we should act “so that […our] works may be clearly seen as done in God” (John 3:21). When issues of questionable morality arise, we should not be afraid to “tell the people everything” (Acts 5:20) about our views and the Church’s views. When good things happen to us, His praise should be the first things on our lips, so much so that others hear us and are glad, too (Psalm 34:2-3).

For me, an evident faith means not being afraid to bring up God in conversation. This is something I struggle with continually. Often, I feel weird or out of place talking about God or my faith in everyday conversation. I feel like I’m putting people off or breaking some unwritten rule of appropriate conversation topics. Sometimes, I even feel taboo saying, “God bless you,” after someone sneezes.

Why is it important that I bring God into all aspects of my life? Why can’t I just save Him for planned discussions with those who think the same things?

If I “live[…] the truth,” not only will I “come[…] to the light” (John 3:21), I will have the opportunity to bring others with me. I can let the “only-begotten Son” work through me to draw others toward “eternal life” (John 3:16).

I pray that God grants me the audacity to witness for Him in all areas of my life, great or small. I ask that my face not “blush with shame” (Psalm 34:6) the next time I bring God up while talking with a friend. LORD, give me the courage to have an evident faith.

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