Good morning and sincerely wishing you all a very happy Christmas.
Last night I was at two Christmas masses, during the first I couldn’t help but notice the baby Jesus (a statue I mean) in front of the altar and asked myself a simple question:
“What on earth must we look like to non-Christians or atheists?”
In this modern world of science how could a groups of adults get together and actually believe that God became a little baby over 2000 years ago and that today is his birthday….
Not to mention the whole rising from the dead and giving is his body to eat in the form of the eucharist at mass…
We must look like a group of brainwashed mentally unwell cannibals I thought as I joined in the apostles creed and said with all my heart “I believe”!
Anyway as I always do I asked Jesus for who or for what my mass intention would be and he spoke to me very clearly “for those who don’t know me and who don’t believe in me”!
I could feel his mercy in my heart and it was Jesus himself who was inspiring my previous thoughts as he was showing me just how hard it is to believe nowadays without some sort of special grace or revelation. Common sense alone would certainly not bring someone to becoming a catholic.
Of course I know this well because it wasn’t common sense that converted me but a direct experience.
So as I left the church I asked Jesus that somehow he’d use me more to bring non-believers to him by bridging the gap between the two worlds and he answered my prayer.
In our house at the moment there is a very nice guy who is a part of the Jesuit refugee program. His life hasn’t been easy and he is of the muslim faith.
We got talking about Jesus and he felt a desire to go down to the church (mass #2) for the midnight mass.
I was very happy to take him down and to talk him through the mass and what was happening and again to explain to him what we believe in. It was also an opportunity to practice my french as he’s french speaking.
After mass he lit a candle in front of a statue and he had no idea about what the statue meant, the intercession of the saints….How could he?
So we went on a tour of the church visiting the sacred heart of Jesus, Our Lady of Fatima, the 14 stations of the cross, St. Therese of the child Jesus and finally the altar and the tabernacle.
I felt like one of those tour guides you see at cathedrals except that instead of talking about the art and dates and all all sorts of insignificant dribble, I was talking about Jesus and Mary and the angels and saints.
The National History museum comes to mind again!!!
My friend was extremely interested and also extremely respectful of everything that I explained to him and the more he asked and the more I explained the more I thought “this is a lot to take in’.
To the outsider becoming a catholic is like learning a whole new language and in this hour or so we had only skimmed the surface.
And I figure that this is also why Jesus is so patient with unbelievers and also with believers because there is just so much to learn, to understand and then to assimilate and integrate into our lives.
On the other hand it is also why we must pray and educate ourselves so that we have the wisdom and the strength to say with all our hearts:
And to willingly suffer any backlash, mockery and rejection that believing in such things may bring in today’s very secularised world where God is ignored and the world of the spirit is ridiculed.
So on that note I wish you all a happy Christmas and may your faith grow as you witness through words, actions and deeds what it is to be a Christian in 2021/22.
Blessings of Jesus to all