|Sunday, March 13 2011|
Insulted for Our Faith
Ash Wednesday has come and passed, and there are a couple of stories that I would like to share with you. You may have been through something similar or felt the same feelings. These stories are for you.
The first story is about a close family member who had attended Mass on Ash Wednesday. While sitting in a public place, she overheard some men joking about the silliness of Catholic rituals. Here she sat with ash in the shape of a cross on her forehead. Part of her wanted to say something. Instead, she chose to remain strong in her faith and say nothing. Despite the comments of these men, she chose to wear her faith proudly on her forehead.
Another story involves someone near and dear to my heart. She faced a similar story. All day, while at work, many of her coworkers made comments about the ash on her forehead. Many people made jokes, but she did not waiver. Some of these people are her closest friends, and they did not understand the meaning behind the cross. No one meant any harm by their comments, but it did have its effects. With school later that night, she thought of the comments she might hear there. Without fail, she overheard some young men making comments. Despite any jokes or comments that were made, she chose to bare her cross proudly.
"If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you." - 1 Peter 4:14 NAB
Both of these women showed an amazing amount of faith. Despite the world around them, they chose to share their faith with the world. Because of their faith, Christ will bless them for it. In today's society, we often face this type of persecution. Faith in God is no longer the social norm, and the world seems to be against Christ. Simply placing a Jesus fish on the back of your car can cause people to ridicule you. But, no matter what opposition you may face, the Lord will be with you.
At times, we may never know what impact we have on people. Personally, I can attest to this. During my days in the military, I did not spend a lot of time "preaching" to the masses, but many people knew of my faith. Slowly, as time went on, more people were inspired by the effects faith had on my life. Eventually, many of my friends and fellow soldiers began to join me at church. They did not come because I asked them to; they came because of the grace they saw God had brought into my life.
In the second story, the same coworkers that found it funny to wear an ash cross on your forehead had a discussion about faith during their lunch hour. I would doubt that any of them were "saved" that day, but it caused the discussion. Sometimes, we may not be the water that brings someone to faith, but that does not mean that we can't plant the seed.