The Gospel today is really straight forward. Jesus entered the temple area. Jesus drove out those selling in the area because they were making the temple a den of thieves, not a house of prayer. Jesus taught in the temple, and the people were hanging on his words. Meanwhile, the chief priests, scribes, and leaders were seeking a way to put Jesus to death. Why, you ask, because His words were not in line with the teaching and understanding of the era.
Jesus’ teachings were radical in his time.
He spoke of loving one another. He taught of giving glory, honor, and praise to his Father. He spoke about forgiveness. He taught us prayer (the Our Father) and social justice by taking care of our neighbors as we would take care of ourselves. He did what he knew was the right thing to do, and there were still those who wanted to trap him and have him killed.
Fast forward to the world today. Jesus’ teachings are still radical. When I openly admit to following Christ Jesus as a Catholic Christian, I get mixed reactions. Once, I was in the customer waiting area while having my car serviced. I was preparing for an upcoming catechetical session and had a few resources out, including my bible. A man, also waiting, mentioned how nice it was to see me exercising my faith and asked me a bit more. When I mentioned that I was Catholic, he put up his hand as a stop sign and would not engage in any further conversation. He even got up and moved away from me.
I have had people giggle or clear their throats while I’ve said a prayer before a meal. I’ve had a family member tell me, “We don’t say, ‘I’ll pray for you anymore,’ but ‘I’ll manifest that for you.’” I pointed out that doing so negates the power of God to intercede. She smiled and said that it’s more inclusive to manifest something for others. I smiled and stated that all are created in God’s image, and He hears all our thoughts and prayers.
Still, I am not afraid to be a witness about my faith, God, His Son Jesus, or the Holy Spirit. I have not always felt that way, and some of my past actions may not have been in line with my faith now. I have made mistakes, judged others, and committed many sins. My salvation – and yours, begins with our loving, patient, forgiving Father. When I go to Him with a sincere, contrite heart, He is always waiting. Even through all my trials, I have stayed true to my heavenly Father.
There are people who will listen to what I have to say about God, and some will not. I want to leave you with this song from King and Country, ‘God Only Knows’ what is in our hearts and in our minds. He knows the real you and who will listen and act. He knows who is drawn to His voice.
Beth is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She brings a unique depth of experience to the group due to her time spent in education, parish ministries, sales and the service industry over the last 25 yrs. She is a practicing spiritual director as well as a Secular Franciscan (OFS). Beth is quick to offer a laugh, a prayer or smile to all she comes in contact with. Reach her here firstname.lastname@example.org.