Am I doing it right?
I find myself asking today if I am doing it right. Today’s Gospel says, “They will seize and persecute you… you will be hated by all because of my name.” I have yet to be seized, I have yet to be persecuted, And I work pretty hard not be hated by anybody. And As I prayed over this Scripture passage I found myself asking, “Am I really a disciple of Jesus Christ?” Or “Have I insulated my discipleship so that I am not seized, not persecuted, not hated?” We can do that, very easily… insulate ourselves. If we surround ourselves with people of like mind, like belief, like spirituality than my life is easy. Because then I have all the normal conversations of a faithful person. I have all the normal prayer rhythms of a faithful person.
It’s kind of like neighborhoods, you know. You choose your neighborhood so that you can live among the people you want to live with. We can very easily live among various neighborhoods in Wichita that can make us live outside our comfort zone. In the same way, we insulate ourselves with “Catholic People,” and make being Catholic really easy. But I wonder if that is really what we are supposed to be doing… what I’m supposed to be doing. We really have to soul search ourselves on this.
I’m not saying putting ourselves in a situation for the sake of argument. You know, anybody can get into a political argument and think they are doing something righteous. Anybody can pick their pet project, the one they really want to hammer, and they drill on that issue incessantly. Then they have this sense that, “I am persecuted, I am standing up for what I believe.” Whereas in fact they are simply beating the pulpit of their own soap box in the midst of their insulated world. But usually in the rest of their life they have surrounded themselves with like-minded people. And that prevents them from truly sharing the Gospel to people who haven’t heard it.
If we were actually sharing the Gospel… if we were actually talking about the person of Jesus Christ, suffering and dying, and risen form the dead… if we were actually talking about the power of the Holy Spirit and the love of God the Father Almighty… scriptures tell us we would be seized, persecuted and hated. And so I find myself asking a simple question: Am I doing it right? I work very hard not to be hated. And if I was living inside a government where I was seized and persecuted would I have the courage to stand up for my faith? I don’t know… but it’s a question we have to ask ourselves.