Is Our Catholic Identity Obvious?
Friday of Week 5 in Lent
Jer. 20:10-13 & Jn. 10:31-42
Both Jeremiah and Jesus are confronted by enemies in today's readings who are filled with hatred and murderous intent. Jeremiah is so confident that God will never desert Him. He believes the Lord is at his side as a ‘mighty hero’ and his opponents will stumble and fall.
If you were asked to prove your identity, how would you go about it? This was the situation in which Jesus found Himself. The Jews had been asking Him once again if He were really the Messiah. He told them that He was, but they did not believe Him. They thought He was a blasphemer and for this they wanted to stone Him. How could He convince them? He said, "If you are not going to believe My words, at least believe My deeds. They are there for all to see."
The Jews had many opportunities to listen to Jesus' words, all of which indicated that He was the Son of God, but the most convincing evidence was what He had done. Who but God could have healed the sick, raised the dead back to life and forgiven people their sins? None of these actions could be denied, for they had been witnessed by many.
It is easy for us to make claims about ourselves but how do we substantiate them? We may tell the world that we are Catholics but how do we prove it? It should be obvious from the way we live! People should be able to see the deep love we have for the Mass, notice how we revere God and use His name respectfully, witness the trust we have in God's providence by our cheerfulness and confidence in difficult times. They should find us caring and loving people to the poor, the sick, the dying, the sad and lonely, not only among our own families and parish, but in the wider world.
Only someone with a closed mind could fail to see the identity of Jesus, because everything He said and did pointed to the fact that He was the Messiah, the Son of God. Could people identify us as fervent Catholics by what we say and do?
Lord Jesus, I find it so hurtful that after all You did for us people did not recognise You as the Messiah, the Son of God. If the world does not recognise us as Your followers, even when we live by your commandments, let us not be disappointed because we know we are in Your good company.