Saint Titus 1:8
Brothers and Sisters,
It takes a lot to be a Christian. It boggles the mind to try to figure out why so many who claim to be Christian do so with a cavalier attitude. At Baptism, when the Faith is given to the new Christian, a very weighty responsibility is given.
Christians are different than the common, everyday person that you pass by on the street, in a store, at school, or at the movies. The common person is fallen from grace but does not look to climb out of this pit. The common person does as he or she wills without regard to the Gospel or the ministers of the Gospel. The common person is self interested, self directing, and pursues their own vision for how things ought to be in the world.
Christians, rather, keep their eyes on things that are above – as the saying goes. The ones who are Christian defer to the Church for morality, recognize the supremacy of Christ’s words above our own wills, and are always found to be generous, merciful, and just (Psalms 112:5).
The scandal for the Faith around the globe at the moment is the countless who claim to be Christian are unrecognizable as such. The great identifier of Christians was articulated by Saint Thomas Aquinas who paraphrased the philosopher Aristotle: we know what something is by what it does.
In short, this means that those who claim to be Christians must act like a Christian. This requires much discipline. All of humanity is fallen from grace and therefore being holy does not naturally come to anyone; it requires effort and commitment. Fidelity to the Gospel is something that is an ongoing exertion, not a one-time decision or event. So, be hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and disciplined.
God be near,
Father Jeremy Pastor