The Jews gathered around Jesus and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.”
I just finished writing a reply to an anonymous writer who continues to naively believe that if someone says “I am a Christian”, then they must be a “Christian"; or if they say "I am a good Christian", then they can't be a "bad Christian", regardless of whether or not they are an atheist at heart (wolf in sheep’s clothing), have left the faith long ago or are following the teachings of Jesus Christ. This is an obscene and cunning manner for people of not-so-good-will to accuse Christianity of being homophobic, witch hunters, ghost riders and/or crusaders and inquisitors.
What the naïve “anonymous” writer fails to mention in their diatribe is the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ and what He said and did, and how Christians should be measured according to His standard, no one else.
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.” You see, “works,” not “words” is the most convincing way to give testimony to God the Father.
Now don’t get me wrong, words are still important, but when God’s works correspond to His Word, it is a sight for very sore eyes and ears.
This morning I asked the children at Mass what Christ expected them to be when they grow up. They said, almost unanimously, a “saint.” I was proud of them. But when I asked them what it meant to be a saint, they didn’t have an idea. I had to remind them: “To be a saint means to be another Christ.”
Christ is our anchor to the word “saint.” Hence, I know what it means to be a good Christian and a bad Christian. But what exactly does it mean to be a good Muslim or a bad Muslim? There appears to be some confusion in the Middle East regarding this. What exactly does it mean to be a "good atheist" and a "bad atheist?" Is a "good atheist" someone who does not allow any God, including Jesus Christ, to influence their heart and mind? Is a "bad atheist" someone who does, even a little? Who will tell me? Better yet, who has the authority to tell me and where does that authority come from?
Now the anchor is a very early Christian symbol that has been found in Roman catacombs. It symbolizes Christian hope in Christ. The anchor unites the cross with various nautical Christian symbols (for example, fish and boat). In fact, the anchor is the symbol of St. Clement of Rome, who tradition says was martyred by being sent to death by boat, tied to an anchor and thrown into the sea.
But more importantly, the anchor is a symbol of Christianity for another reason: its functionality. For what exactly does an anchor do but keep us from going adrift?
Christ is our anchor! In everything! He is the anchor to our life and in our death. He is the anchor at the bottom of every life affecting word: good, bad, evil, holy, saint, martyr, love.
Without Him, without Him as our anchor, our life and the meaning of these words are set free…to drift forever.
Without the Lord, words like “saint” and “martyr” can easily take on foreign and twisted meanings, as we can see from history. And institutions like “marriage” and facts such as “the beginning of life” can take on selfish or utilitarian meanings.
For example, in order to legitimize abortion, our legal system changed the definition of when life begins. Instead of at conception, it defined fifty years ago that life began once the fetus was free from the womb. This definition was found useful by social engineers such as Planned Parenthood and radical politicians. But now that Dr. Gosnell is on trial for murdering children born alive, there is a new push to “redefine” life as “that which is intended by mother and doctor.” Ah Hah!
This isn’t done in the name of science or in the name of love. It’s all done in the name of horrific greed and sin. Oh, what we will do to get what we want!
The Lord wasn’t keeping anyone in suspense. He shined light on everything and everyone. It was the anonymous who kept Him in suspense, as they prepared His Cross.