Have you pondered what it is like to be a genuine Christian? You may prefer to be called Catholic, which is still being a follower of Jesus Christ. So being a Catholic is being a Christian. How did you become a Catholic? Is it from your parents bringing you to church and you obediently come to church on Sundays? Perhaps you have been baptized, received communion and even confirmed as Catholic. Anyway, does being a Christian mean gathering for mass on Sundays to listen to the readings and Gospel, and to hear the Priest preach? Then go up to the front of the church and receive the wafer because everyone is doing so? Perhaps sing along to a few songs because they are catchy? Make a few friends at church? Sometimes when we are clueless that is all we do. Then something happens; someone we love gets sick, or lost a job, can’t make ends meet and there is a desperate need for help, so we turn to prayers, and seek Christ’s help in church. Difficult situations provoke us to seek a closer relationship with Christ to get his help.
In the Gospel of Luke 16: 1-13, is the parable of the rich man summoning the steward to give a full account of his stewardship for squandering his property. It woke the steward up and he quickly went to his master’s debtors to collect a smaller percent of what they owed to release them from debt. This was in order for him to be able to get favors from them after he was fired. The moral of the parable is that anyone who is trustworthy in very small matters will also be trustworthy in great ones. The opposite is true, and in this case the steward is obviously dishonest. We are called to reflect on our stewardship, which we are accountable to God. Are we like those in Amos 8: 4-7, trampling on the needy and destroying the poor of the land, fixing our scales for cheating?
How can we live right with God? In 1 Timothy 2: 1-8, St. Paul encourages us to pray for everyone, both in thanksgiving and for their needs. He encourages us to live a quiet and peaceful life, one which is pleasing to God who wills everyone to be saved. We are to live up to our worth with enthusiasm. So, what is a Christian? It is to live in the way St. Paul encourages, even when facing difficult trials in life. To be a Christian is to carry our cross in good times and in bad times. At all times turn to the Lord and live as he has taught. It is difficult, but we have God’s grace. Often trials can hurt deep to the core, yet even more we cling to the cross of Christ. It appears paradoxical, but when we truly follow Christ, we turn our control to him and trust that his way is the best way. Christ says my yoke is easy and my burden light. All the more when we serve God and not mammon we will have peace and joy. In reality true Christians will suffer as Christ suffered, yet his grace will give us the strength to live like Christ.
God bless and may his Spirit be with you.
Diaconate Candidate, 2025