“Whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me…No slave is greater than his master nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.”
There it is! You read it yourself. We are called to be authentic ambassadors of the Lord. We are called – actually sent – to represent the Lord wherever he wants, whenever he wants, throughout the world and throughout our life. Imagine for just a moment what that would mean. Imagine for a moment if I never said “No” to the Lord or if my life was a constant “Yes” to Christ. What would that mean? A new world! A new world order where loves reins supreme, forgiveness is ordinary and mercy is expected.
Instead of imaging no religion, let us imagine the religion of Jesus Christ, the religion of love. It’s easy if you try, and it’s perfectly fine because it is the perfect religion! Who said God is Love? Answer: St. John the Apostle. And it is striking that only Christians refer to God as being Love. Muslims have ninety-nine names for God, but not one of them is God is Love or even God is Father. I’m not here to bash anyone. I am here to bathe in God’s Almighty revelation, a revelation that is far superior to all other revelations. Regardless of my upbringing or background or faults and failures, I can believe God is Love and I can believe that God is Father. Who couldn’t believe that? Who wouldn’t believe that? Who shouldn’t believe that?
God is love and his love is best expressed by His Word: Jesus Christ! God’s tolerance towards man is best described by one act: His crucifixion. Instead of condemning the world, he died for it! Instead of blasting and cursing to smithereens sinners the Lord embraced them, welcomed them and healed them. He taught us to never ever give up on anyone and to never ever spread hatred and revenge upon our enemies. It’s okay to pray for the soul of Usama Bin Laden and the safety of our soldiers. It’s okay to pray for the soul of Margaret Sanger, abortion providers and the children who have been aborted. It’s perfectly fine to pray for those who have been abused and those who abused. It’s even okay to pray for Professor Peter Singer and those who advocate infanticide! But what is not okay is to cheer the death of the sinner. Rather, it is to cheer for their conversion! This is the scandal of the Christian faith. It is no longer an eye for an eye; a face for a face, or a tooth for a tooth. This is the greatest scandal of our faith. It is how we love.
Just recently the Iranian government, under pressure from human rights organizations, postponed the retribution punishment of a criminal with drops of acid. I was appalled by the reaction of so many Americans to the postponement. It would appear as though the war on terror has hardened many American hearts. We cannot let that happen. The World loves Americans because of our generous hearts and because of our love for others. We need to fight the war on terror with tenacity, but we cannot be a part of it.
The Lord picked Twelve Apostles, not because they were perfect and not because they were gods. He picked them because he could work with them, through them and in them.
If we claim to be Catholic, then we must live like Catholics. The Lord has given us a beautiful faith and calling. He has given us everything – all the means – to become holy. This means, we must live to the fullest extent the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Otherwise people may not believe in Christ because of us, and that is a cause of great concern.
Imagine being Catholic! Try loving rather than insulting; forgiving rather than judging, and giving rather than resenting. It’s easy if you try.