Nobody likes feeling put down, dealing with others tarnishing their good name and discrediting their standing. Imagine for a minute what Jesus feels like when we persist in sin, allowing our name as a follower of Christ to be ridiculed? When our lives don’t imitate Christ or even try to?
Go back quick and make sure to read the First Reading today where Saint Paul wrote a letter to Saint Titus and the Church in Crete, giving them some strict guidelines for how they should live. (Titus 2:1-8, 11-14). Overmuch? At first read through my thoughts were along the lines of, “Well, I’ll never make for a ‘good homemaker’—have you seen my laundry piles? Dish piles? And my kids' weekly scuffles in the pews?” Maybe this game plan for life is a little much.
But then reading on, there is Saint Paul’s reason; it grabs my heart right away . . . here is verse 5 for you again: “So that the Word of God may not be discredited.” Ooooh.
It’s obviously not talking about dirty counters, but it is a point worth asking: is my home welcoming, so that when someone comes over, my attitude and reception of them glorifies God? Do they feel the love of Christ from my hospitality? Do I offer credibility of being a Catholic when I’m in the waiting room and it’s 45 minutes past my appointment time? Are others fascinated by my faith when they see how I treat my husband? My kids? The grumpy waitress? Do I work towards upholding the dignity of those who are downtrodden and broken?
Our Christian life is counter-cultural. It should cause others to stop and notice. We aren’t the popular people going along with the latest ideology because we are possessors of the Truth. That call of obedience to God and His commandments comes at a sacrifice of ourselves but it promises life. True love yearns to sacrifice itself. Our love for Jesus, the Church, and one another does require affirmative action.
The questions remain: do we behave like Christ followers? As servants of the Master, we are not masters of ourselves. Are our actions, our words, our attitudes a credit to our Creator? Let us remain consistent in what we believe, ridding any duplicity in ourselves.
Sarah Ortiz is a Catholic convert, wife, and mother to four boys. When not folding laundry, she can be found reading, experimenting in the kitchen, or writing at her blog. You can find out more about her here.