Monday, August 27, 2012
What do you advertise?
Reflection on the Readings for Monday August 27, 2012: 1Thess. 1:1-5,11-12 Mt. 23:13-22 I was traveling this past weekend and at one point stopped by a small restaurant for breakfast. There were a few families with young children present and at one point four elderly women came in. Since it was a small restaurant, I was able to overhear parts of their conversations and discovered that they had just gone to Mass. Sadly, that was the last positive thing I can report about their time at that restaurant. They were rude, cranky and seemingly angry. They were condescending and demeaning to the wait staff as soon as they walked in the door. They also weren't to thrilled with the fact that there were small children around them. The tragedy in this scene is that they were advertising us, Catholics, to others. Not the kind of advertising that we want or that actually describes us. Now I am not naive enough to think that if they were the most outgoing, friendly group ever that people would be so impressed that they would flock to the Catholic Church. But you better believe that others in that restaurant linked them to Catholicism and came up with a negative impression of them and us. In fairness, there have been times that I haven't been a good advertisement for Christ. That is why the Scriptures at times really challenge us, even the best Catholic out there. We can always do better. It is not just a coincidence that Paul notes that as the Thessalonians faith grew, so didn't their love for others. Not only that, but they were able to persevere in faith and love even in times of persecution and other afflictions Our baptism makes us advertisements for Christ. To be a positive advertisement, our faith needs to be authentic. Our worship of God can't be something that we attend once a week, but rather something we live. We need to open our hearts and minds to God and allow his light to shine into the dark corners of our lives so that nothing blocks his light from shining through us to others.