Monday, September 23, 2013

Proclaim the Beauty

Friends of Faith:

Proclaiming the Beauty, Goodness and Truth of Christ.
Christ lived it. Pope Francis proclaims it. Are we doing our own part to live and proclaim it?

What does our life, our marriage, our family, our speech and our choices, say about the beauty, goodness and truth of being Christian? (Proclaiming the Beauty, Goodness and Truth of Marriage)
Do you have that one large family that you admire that doesn’t seem to have a lot of “rich” ie money, but always seems to have it together by just being together, by the way they take care of each other?

I often say I give credit for many of my behaviors and attitudes to my grandparents, parents and aunts and uncles. It is because they showed me what it means to help out a neighbor, to serve within our family and community, and to forgive those who hurt us in anyway. They showed me the beauty of having Christ thru the Church in our family and in their own marriages because being together as a family in church was always an important part of our gathering together.
It was important for us to gather not just on holidays, but whenever possible. Traveling and vacation meant visiting cousins, playing cards, flying kites and Grandma’s walnut cookies and kolaches. We enjoyed just being together. And we were taught that peace and joy was found in giving instead of receiving by being active volunteers in our neighborhoods and communities.

We went to church every week as a family and often as an extended family, looking forward to the next time we would gather. Church was a priority and a central gathering place, a treasure that we looked forward to, especially when we traveled and got to visit someone else’s parish.
Have you ever tried to “hide” what is important, good or bad? Have you ever noticed that it is the church steeple that rises above other buildings in your community, and the bad news which gets all the publicity? But dark (bad) can be hidden, extinguished, by just a little light. And the beauty of Christ is that light.

Jesus said to the crowd: “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light. For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible, and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light. Take care, then, how you hear. To anyone who has, or will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he seems to have will be taken away.” Lk 8: 16-18
Light or darkness, there is no in between; for Christ or against him, there is no in between.

'The Amen, the faithful and true witness, the source of God's creation, says this: "I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, 'I am rich and affluent and have no need of anything,' and yet do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich, and white garments to put on so that your shameful nakedness may not be exposed, and buy ointment to smear on your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and chastise. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. "'Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne. "'Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Rev 3: 14-22
Hot or cold, not lukewarm; rich or poor—in God’s view; light or dark; open door or closed—It is our/my choice to see and proclaim the beauty.

God is standing outside our door with a light that is the truth. Do I see the beauty and proclaim the truth? Will “I enter his house (church) and dine with him, and him in me” (receive His body in the Eucharist)?
Or have I hidden the light, become lukewarm (through misguided priorities), or for any reason completely closed that door (through sin), so that all that is seen from the outside is a lukewarm hypocrite. (Do I proclaim my Christianity but do nothing to live it?)

In his goodness and mercy God will wait forever for me to turn the handle and reopen the door to arrive at His beauty. He will not leave, if I repent—he will forgive, AND His grace through the sacraments will help me get back up and come back in. That is the beauty of His proclamation to us.
So, am I “hot” for my faith? Have I opened the door to beauty and to proclaiming the Church teaching on marriage, love, relationships and life? Am I seeking to learn more and to be educated in God’s light?

Do I look forward to visiting Church, remaining in His presence, and proclaiming His good news? Am I regularly seeking nourishment (through prayer) that is full and fulfilling: Scripture, the Eucharist, and truth?
Or am I eating cultural lies and societal junk food (happy surface stuff) which only keeps me warm for a little while?

Christ, You are the Light of the World. You hold the keys to the heavenly kingdom, to the door of hope, healing and forgiveness. Help me to proclaim your beauty and goodness by showing all I meet how opening your door has given me peace and joy. Give each person the grace to open the door for themselves and the gifts of courage, wisdom and knowledge to make others curious enough to open the door for themselves. Amen.
Be Hot for Christ!
Proclaim the Beauty, Goodness and Truth of the one holy, apostolic and Catholic (universal) Church, of Christ, of marriage, of life and of unending joy by the way in which you live this week.

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