Romans 1:8

Brothers and Sisters,

When I was in college, I has a professor who told our entire class this following statement, which I have for our purposes paraphrased for you to read:  Christianity is a philosophy of life – and a very good one, too; the thing that nearly everyone gets wrong is thinking that Jesus was a god or somehow divine.  He was a moral philosopher who wanted everyone to treat everyone else with great respect.  The ‘resurrection’ is the disciples of Jesus choosing to be pacifists rather than choosing violence against the Romans.  It is not the case the Jesus did or will come back.

Whoa.  That, brothers and sister entirely misrepresents the Holy Faith and is a wholly (pun intended) mistaken account of who and what Jesus Christ is.  Yet, this is a common belief from atheists, pagans, and heretics alike.  Many people will even try to legitimize their absence from the Sunday Eucharist by such claims; still others will call themselves “spiritual but not religious,” saying that the love Jesus because of His teachings and the good that He tried to do.

Believe me, if there is anyone anywhere who loves Jesus I will count that person as a friend.  It is still terribly sad to find that many are setting aside Christianity or even just domesticating it to being nothing more than a kind of lifestyle that competes with many others.  The Holy Faith is not some mere lifestyle; Christianity is a religion that demands a lifestyle.  It is because I believe Christi is God and is indeed risen from that dead that I live differently than the culture would otherwise expect.

This is the very reason why Saint James wrote “faith of itself without works is dead” (James 2:17).  If your faith in Christ does not affect how you act, then you really have no faith at all.  It is like buying tools and never using them or having a computer that you never actually turn on:  you can claim to have these things at the ready, sure, but if they have no impact on your life, then they really are of no use.

Here’s an easier way of seeing it:  GK Chesterton wrote about Christianity this way:

either Christianity is right and it is of extreme importance or it is wrong and it is of no importance at all; the only thing that cannot be true is that Christianity is somewhat important.

So, if your faith is only “somewhat” important to you, then it’s time to do the hard work of figuring out why it is only somewhat important.  Please recognize that when He returns, we will all only have our faith and good works to support us – hopefully that is reason enough to make the Holy Faith important to you.

God be near,

Father Jeremy