London is cooling down, McDonald’s are beginning to play Christmas songs and it’s the season of hats and scarves!
So a few days ago I went to Westminister Cathedral to pray and as soon as I opened the door an older gentleman who was a volunteer shouted at me
“take off your hat”.
Now granted I may not look or dress like someone who goes to mass every day but the reality is that I do!
And the fact that I look younger than my age or even life experience suggest only adds to the problem!!
I am certain that if I was old and entered the cathedral with a serious frown that I would have been spoken to differently!
Now the even more ironic bit was that I had spoken to that man before but he didn’t remember me!
And so in a nice way I replied to him!
“We’ve spoken before you know, I do evangelization and you know that if it was my first time in a catholic church and you spoke to me like that, I might not be back…..
Could you not say something like ‘Welcome to the house of God, can I ask you to remove your hat out of respect'”
He looked at me…..3 seconds went by in a very loud silence! How was he going to react?!
He smiled and humbly said “you’re right” and we both smiled and shook hands!
You see evangelisation is about loving people and so patiently teaching them and not judging them!
To a non-catholic it can be very intimidating entering a catholic church for the first time and people have no idea how to behave! It’s up to us to teach them and what a wonderful way to evangelise all at the same time!
In Notre Dame in Paris many asian tourists receive holy communion in between the millions of photos that they take! They are not bad people nor are many of them catholic but naively they presume that the piece of bread is a sort of a welcome-cookie for everybody and so they join the queue, cameras in tow!
It is up to us to welcome them, teach them and explain what is going on to them and how they can participate and why they shouldn’t receive communion in these cases.
The more we explain our faith to others in love the more we should become humble!
In other circumstances it could be the other way around! We could have been born into a hindu family in india and through no fault of our own, know nothing about christianity!
Jesus asks us to love and teach others with profound humility and not to lord our faith and religious practices over others who have not had the same privileges in life as us!
So today may we love others into the truth!
May we work with love, teach with love, correct with love and pray with love as we see God in every single human being we meet!
It’s cold outside guys so put on your hats!😂😂