28 Apr 2015
[Scripture Readings: Acts 11:19-26; Ps 87:1b-7; John 10:22-30]
Jesus says: “The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.” In other words, “Actions speak louder than words.” When the scattered disciples of Jesus spread the gospel to the Gentiles and all those thousands of people were converted, the disciples’ actions spoke volumes about who they were. They were disciples filled with the true Spirit of the One God. The actions of their lives were proof enough that they were, indeed, Christians.
On Sunday we heard about the value of commitment; commitment to God and our faith. Yesterday, we heard about the catholic, universal, non-discriminating love of God. And today, we hear about the value of our deeds. Just like the Jews who, in effect, said to Jesus: “Prove that you’re the Messiah,” some people will say to us: “Prove you’re a Christian.” And we do that by our deeds, by how we live our life.
The most important “work” of the Christian is to love God and be loved by God in return. That’s the commitment we heard about on Sunday. The second most important “work” of the Christian is to love our neighbors in a truly catholic, non-discriminating spirit. It isn’t about how much we do; it’s about the quality and depth of real love that we put into all we do.
At work, in the office, in the home, in the parish, we prove our Catholic Christian spirit by how we love others. And it’s not necessarily in big, grandiose ways. In fact, it’s hardly ever that. More usually, it’s in little ways: patience, listening, a word of encouragement, taking an extra minute or two to talk with someone and see how they’re doing. That’s how the Church grows in the day-to-day world: by showing to others the concrete love of the risen Jesus, one person and a time. And that’s how we show we are Catholic Christians.
Jesus says: “The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.” And, hopefully, we can say: “The works I do in Jesus’ name testify that I am, indeed, a Catholic Christian.”