Thursday, July 6, 2017

When The "Good News" is Presented Badly By: C.C.

"But in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence" (1 Peter 3:15)

  Our modern technological advancements and the embracing of media as a means of evangelization has given rise to the increase of sharing faith. In many ways this is a wonderful and beautiful thing. At times it seems that there is need for more silence, reflection, thought, and most importantly reverence before one can share the 'Good News' effectively. 
I have come across many wonderful blogs, tweets, Facebook shares, and other forms of social networking that primarily focus on sharing the Catholic faith. I have sadly also come across the opposite. I say this with all reverence to Christ and void of judgement toward my brothers and sisters in faith. When 'The Good News' of our faith is poorly presented it does more to wound than heal. It does more to turn one away from Christ than to lead others toward Him. It does more for division than it does for unity. It does not reflect the love of our Lord and the 'hope' that is within. Rather, it highlights the virtue one is without and the time they truly need to spend with reverence in their heart for Christ as Lord. Scroll through many Twitter feeds, Facebook posts, and blog comment sections and surely you will stumble upon professed faithful throwing the Good News around as a tool of animosity and shaming another. It seems that the old cranky lady sitting in the pew with numerous eye rolls towards those around her has seemingly found her way into the social media platform and it is truly detrimental. 
  "Be prepared to make defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you'. We must not read this Gospel and isolate this one sentence but further our reading and see that we are called to do this with 'gentleness and reverence'. Charity must be at the root of our message or it is not rooted in Christ. If we are truly yearning to build up the kingdom of Christ and reach the peripheries effectively we must see that having a bunch of domestic disputes among the gathered, doesn't appeal to the masses. Why would a church who can't keep it together, yet claim to be Universal be all that alluring? There is great responsibility to foster unity among the ordinary laity, perhaps even more so these days with the numerous platforms we can implore for the good of our faith.  
  Today we have an outpouring of instant communication. Absence of thought and quickness of speech. Technological advancements while able to contribute positively to our Catholic evangelization can also greatly wound and lead to confusion. If we claim to be a follower of Christ, if we claim to have faith, if we profess to be in communion with the Holy Catholic Church, then we are obligated, responsible, and accountable to build up and foster the fruits of what this means and cultivates in our lives. It is not about us and our feelings. It is about Christ and His Church.
  Let us place our energy and our voices first into the silence of prayer. Let us turn to our Lord , hear His voice and understand what it is He asks of us through our trusting obedience to Him and His will. If we disagree with someone let us pray first for them before we react. It is not about us being "right" it is about our Lord seated at the "right hand of the Father" who is the judge of what is "right and just".
   Let us not be victim of reacting before retaining, speaking before listening, and commenting before first comprehending. We can often realize in hindsight that if we first sought His sight and turned to our Lord with matters of faith, our concerns, and our confusions, we would gain clarity and understanding. To be a disciple of Christ, striving to evangelize we must first be a student of silence and prayer. We must patiently endure and prayerfully wait upon the Lord. 
  The old question `What would Jesus do?` comes to mind to me today. If our Lord had to tweet, blog, and facebook..what would His page look like and what response would he offer to others when called to give account? (C.C.)

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