Daily Reflection
April 16th, 2008

Eileen Wirth

Journalism Department
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Like a great many Catholics, I’ve always been uncomfortable wearing my religion on my sleeve . As a young religion reporter, I occasionally had to cover gatherings of Evangelicals who gave testimony and were in your face about whether you had been born again, accepted Jesus, etc.

The first time I heard people publicly confessing their sins and telling how they had found the Lord, I felt like I was watching them undress. When they would demand to know the state of my soul before I could interview them, I had to strongly resist the urge to say MYOB. It’s just the way we were raised, I guess.

Today’s reading from Acts about how Barnabas and Saul “proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues” makes me wonder how I would have responded to them. Probably a lot like I reacted to the people giving testimony. Most likely, I would have walked away, embarrassed for these nut cases.

Yet I believe as strongly as any Evangelical that Jesus is the light of the world who came to dispel our darkness. I believe all of us who share this belief have an obligation to help spread it. So how do we reconcile these two positions?

Today’s reading from John offers a clue. “For I did not come to condemn the world but to save the world,” Jesus says.

Surely there are many ways we can participate in that effort, most importantly by living the Gospel in our daily lives in countless small ways. If I am a Christian, I have to make an effort to forgive those who have hurt me and to seek forgiveness from those I have injured. I have to try to reach out to others in the ways that Jesus suggested through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy.

I’ll never be comfortable aggressively proclaiming my Christianity or trying to push it onto others. But surely Jesus will understand if I try to overcome my many weaknesses and live as someone who takes his teachings seriously.

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