As Jesus approached Jericho a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging, and hearing a crowd going by, he inquired what was happening. They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.” He shouted, “Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me.”
He shouted. While I was discerning a vocation to the priesthood, I must admit that nearly all my conversations with family and friends revolved around the Lord, His Church and our faith. That’s not very common, especially for someone in their twenties.
Yes, in those early years of my conversion there was fire in my eyes. My friends didn’t know what to think of it, and so they were concerned about my mental health. How funny. They would drink till they were drunk and drug till they were high, and yet they were concerned about my “well-being”. They would often say, “What has happened to you?”
One day I saw two Jehovah witnesses walking around my neighborhood. I quickly ran outside and intentionally went up to them. I started a conversation with them. Can you believe it? They couldn’t believe it. They were frightened! They must have thought: Who in their right mind wants to talk to us? I have to give them some credit. Were they so far off? Doesn’t everybody try to avoid them? Well, not me. I was on fire with the Lord! I felt the Holy Spirit upon me like a flame thrower! Not long after that, I began to search out Mormons. If I saw two young men riding their bikes together, I immediately thought they were Mormons. What a moron I was!
I loved getting into debates with people on the plane. They couldn’t run. They couldn’t hide. All they could do was pretend they were sleeping. I didn’t worry so much about how I started the conversation. I worried more about how it would end.
The world needs to know the truth. Sinners need to repent. People need to convert. The world needs to be saved. Our message has an audience, a “captive” audience. Our message is needed today. It needs to get out there. So, let’s shout it out.
A few weeks ago I went to see the movie Skyfall. The Vatican loved it and so I went to see it. I loved it too. But what I loved most about it is how 007’s age and time in service had not dampened his zeal, fire and passion for his country. Yes, even with all the bureaucrats and politicians that made his life a living hell; even with all the scandals within his department, he never lost sight of real hell and scandals.
Abortion is a scandal, especially by the fact that it is legal. Gay-marriage (not homosexuals) is a scandal, especially by the fact that it is a mockery of God’s design. What makes these issues even more scandalous is the support they get from some of our very own institutions, theologians, priests and religious.
Think of your sins! That was the messenger’s message in Skyfall. What the messenger forgot to mention was for him to think of his sins as well, for they were far worse than his former employer.
In the book of Revelations, St. John heard the Lord say to him: “To the angel of the Church in Ephesus, write this: “I know your works, your labor, and your endurance, and that you cannot tolerate the wicked…Yet I hold this against you: you have lost the love you had at first. Realize how far you have fallen. Repent! And do the works you did at first.”
The greatest danger any soldier faces is the temptation, the appealing prospect, of becoming a couch potato: a bureaucrat, a man who draws up plans all day long and dictates behind a desk.
It is so easy for a soldier to grow weary, to lose his zeal, his passion, the love he once had. I know too many experts who have read far too many books and speak about God but do not pray to God. I know very few religious who sit behind a desk and never have time to meet face to face with a single soul. It’s time they get out on the field. It’s time they begin to work special op missions. They think they are doing what they do best. They aren’t. They are doing what comes easy, and that’s not always the best.
The moment has arrived for us to do what does not come naturally: to share the Good News. It is time to do what is not so convenient to do: to speak the truth and shake them up - not the person - but their sensibilities.
A living soul will only convert to the Lord if someone speaks the truth to them, shakes up their world, and catches them when they fall.
Shout to the Lord like the blind man, who did not hold back when he was told to keep still and quiet.