As Catholics we are called to be passionate about our faith and our God. In Revelations 3:16 God warns”So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out”. To me that is pretty scary. Think, in what way have you been on fire for your faith? To whom have you spoken about it? Who have you invited to church? What do you do besides going to mass on Sundays? What sacrifices do you make?
We have such an awesome faith and we don’t even show it. I hear Protestants talking about their faith all the time. They’re excited about it a lot more than most Catholics but we have so much more to be excited about. I once observed a Methodist Communion Service. I was impressed by their reverence and love of communion. There was a real longing to receive communion. This was their first Communion Service in over two months. It was all I could do not to shout that we Catholics can receive Communion everyday and we receive the real Body and Blood of Jesus, not a symbol. We have Jesus Christ, the God of Salvation, the God of Mercy, the King of Kings, Jesus the Miracle Worker present in our churches every day.
We should be bragging about our faith. We have everything the other ChristianChurches have and more. We have Mary. Other Christians may criticize us for worshipping Mary but we don’t. We honor Mary and this is biblical and in a way obeying the Fourth Commandment. It said to honor your father and mother. Mary is our spiritual mother. Jesus gave her to us as mother in John 19: when He said from the Cross “Behold your mother” It is also biblical to say the Hail Mary because in Luke 1:48 it says “All generations shall call me blessed”. The words of the Hail Mary originate in the first chapter of Luke. We quote Elizabeth and the Angel Gabriel in saying the Hail Mary.
Other Christian denominations often ask other members of their church to pray for them. They are famous for their prayer chains in times of crisis. They are also many who are renowned for their prayers for healing. There is nothing wrong with that. God does frequently answer those prayers with a yes. We can do more of this in our faith. But if the prayers of a Reinhard Bonnke or Benny Hinn are effective, how much more will be prayers of Mary or one of the saints in heaven? After all, Jesus’ first miracle at Cana was in response to Mary asking him to intervene.
Like other Christians we believe that salvation is a gift from God not something to be earned. Our good works are our response to God’s love, acts of love in return, a way of showing our love for God. We believe that as James said in James 2:17 that faith without works is dead. If we truly love God we should be on fire for Him. After all in Matthew 25:40 Jesus said” whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine you did for me”. Our works for others are simply following what Jesus said.
Despite popular opinion Catholics do read the Bible. Almost all of the prayers in mass come from scripture. If you attend daily mass you will hear almost the entire Bible every three years. This is the way the early Christians heard the Bible. Books were rare and scripture was written on scrolls so the early Christians heard the Bible instead of reading it.
We have the sacraments, all seven not just some. We have a history that goes back to the Apostles. We have a faith whose basic principles don’t change. As unpopular as it is nowadays we still follow God’s teaching on marriage and homosexuality. Our Church was founded by Jesus Christ, true God and true Man, not a simple man.
Many of us shy away from speaking out or standing up for our principles because we are afraid of what people might say or think. We might be considered a fanatic if our neighbors saw us standing on a life chain in opposition to abortion. We don’t want to speak out against the decadence in this world. It might cost us a little.
Our faith is supposed to be one of sacrifice. Jesus said to take up our cross and follow Him. Very often, we think that our crosses are the pains of illness but they are instead the cost of following Him. Our faith is built on the blood of martyrs. We all know about the Roman persecution but it didn’t stop then. In every century since there have been martyrs.
We are not likely to be asked to give so much. We’re asked to face a little rejection and ridicule. We are asked to give a little more of our time to support the Church. Maybe we are called to teach CCD or help with RCIA. Maybe we’re called to bring the Eucharist to the homebound and hospitalized. Maybe we are called to learn more about our faith so we can share it. Maybe we are called to stand up against abortion, to pray the Rosary to stop it, join a life chain or a demonstration. Most certainly, God wants more than just Sunday mass attendance. Even if we could do nothing else due to health limitations we could still pray for the Church.
All Mormons give two years of their lives to the missions. Most ChristianChurches have active missions. They are sending missions to Latin America to convert Catholics. The Jehovah Witnesses go door to door. What are we willing to do? Are we willing to share our faith?
Lord, I confess I have been lukewarm in my faith but I don’t want to be lukewarm. Give me the courage I need to witness to Your truth and my faith. Amen