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Friday, September 01, 2006

Passing the buck

Imagine if every Catholic Church in America had a hospitality house associated with it? Or if every Christian Church even? If we all followed the Corporal works of mercy in a very hands on way, daily, would we need a welfare system? If every family kept their homes open to those in need, friends, family, even strangers, would we need shelters?
A quote from Maurin I keep coming across is a reference he makes to early Christians. The Romans said (of the Christians) see how they love one another. Of Christians today, society says, see how they pass the buck.
Do we give money each week at church or during the annual United Way Pledge and then sit back and say, 'I've done my part.'? I have. Do we pay our taxes year after year and expect the government to make poverty go away with our money?
It is easier to let others get their hands dirty. It is easier to do the bare minimum of what our faith asks of us. When the rich young man approached Jesus and was told to sell all he had and follow Him, he turned away sad. In today's world most of us our like the rich young man, we have much in the way of material things and we are good people. We expect to go to heaven because we go to Mass weekly and treat others we encounter in our daily life nicely. We're content to live in our bubbles. We know only of the poor through TV and movies.
The Lord did not stay in a bubble and minister 'in his comfort zone.' He went out and found those who needed help and served them. As did the apostles. Peter didn't keep his job as a fisherman on the side in case the whole disciple thing didn't pan out. Following Jesus isn't a part-time job.
Being a Christian is uncomfortable at times. If you're always comfortable in your faith, than you're doing something wrong. We all need to find the tax collectors, prostitute, lepers and lame of today's society, swallow hard, smile and invite them into our homes with arms wide open.
This is very scary to me. But I know it is what I must do. When I feel I can't do something I just imagine talking to Jesus and trying to convince him of my reasons against whatever it is. Then, when I get that awkward feeling in my stomach (like a 13yr old explaining to his dad why they were crawling in a window at 1am.) I just start praying for the grace to do His will.