Living the Gospel – August 18, 2019

Home > Living the Gospel > Living the Gospel – August 18, 2019

Part 1

Today’s Gospel reading has always “put me on edge.” Here is Jesus, the Prince of Peace, the one we always turn to for comfort, speaking of all the divisions His teachings will incur.

His heart is heavy. Calvary looms and He is fully aware that opposition to his words and works is building. The leaders are threatened. They are plotting against Him. They want to get rid of Him. And He knows that to complete His earthly mission, He must suffer His passion and death. He just wants it to be over!

But what about this conflict? This division of family members?

Jesus cannot compromise His teachings even to the point of sacrificing His life. In some parts of the world His followers are doing the very same. But what about us, comfortably sitting in our “little corner of the USA.”

It is hard to be unpopular, hard to stand up and be counted when so much of the world has turned against the teachings of Jesus. Yet, Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy. Are we willing to “stick our necks out” to protest greed, injustice, pornography, abortion and even hatred? Trust me! If you try to support Christian (not just Catholic) principles, someone will argue against you! And sometimes that person will be a family member! Yet our hearts must be ablaze with love for Jesus and therefore, His teachings!

Long ago I was at a Church meeting being conducted in the parish chapel. People were chatting while waiting for the presenter. Suddenly the chit-chat became very derogatory about some of the local people. One man spoke up and said very simply: “You are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. I don’t think this is how you should be talking.” The conversation ended immediately! What I found interesting was that this gentleman, like myself, was new to the parish. In my opinion, that took courage.

Many will pray outside an abortion center, quietly protesting the taking of a new life. Their quiet presence can speak much louder than words.

Do we even have the courage to pray before meals, complete with the Sign of the Cross in our workplace or a restaurant?

What we do, even without realizing can make a big impression on others. I work with a gentleman who definitely practices his Muslim faith. One evening as I was leaving work via an outside hallway, he was standing at one end of the hall, kind of staring into space, then went reverently to the ground. Before I realized he was praying, I made a “wise comment” asking him what the heck was he doing just standing at the end of the hall…no one around. When I realized…..I was pretty impressed. This same man brings his dinner each day…and I’m not talking about a sandwich. He brings a FEAST! Takes up half a table. Yet Ramadan, a few weeks ago, there was…

To be continued