Sister, I’m sure you are familiar with the all-too-common question: "How Catholic are you really?"
I was once asked this on the first day of a new job by my supervisor. I was once asked on a date to rate how “Catholic” I was on a scale of one to ten. I have even been asked this by perfect strangers, in bars, on airplanes, and even waiting for my latte at a coffee shop.
It is a question that sincerely bothers me because, while possibly well-intentioned, it fundamentally misses the point of the Faith.
It is a question that assumes when I refer to myself as a Catholic, I have subscribed to a set of tidy rules and conclusions, from which I get to pick and choose. I feel like I am being asked to elaborate on to what extent I buy into a behavior modification system, instead of the deep, saving relationship I have with my loving Creator.
When I reflect on the misunderstanding in these interactions, I am reminded of the relevance of today’s Gospel, which is the essence of the Good News we center our lives around.
"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" (John 3:16).
God so loved the world that instead of sending a message or an agenda, He sends His only-begotten Son, the One Who fights for us to the end. He sends a Messiah Who loves and restores perfectly, and somehow still desires eternal life with us.
Christ the Light Who illuminates all darkness does not want to see you or I perish, even in the depths of our brokenness. Instead of condemnation, He offers redemption, and it changes absolutely everything.
The gravity of His invitation invokes my wholehearted response. When asked about what kind of role the Faith plays in my life, I know the only honest answer is that it is all-consuming.
I am truly saved by and bound to a Love I do not deserve, but One I will hold forever.
He offers redemption, and it changes absolutely everything. // @sarahericksonnClick to tweet
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Sarah Erickson is a politics pre-law major at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Born and raised in Arizona, she finds great joy in mountains, lattes, American history, and the piano. She is constantly discovering Christ's wild love in the little things. You can find out more about her here.