Offended by Jesus

The baptism of Jesus by John the baptist, as i...
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Although I am Catholic by conversion, I had some Christian experiences.  Between occasional bouts of church, reading the Book of Proverbs, attempting to memorize the Book of Exodus for bible bowl, and the Boy Scouts, I learned a couple of things about reverence.

Along the way, a few Christians offended me but I never felt offended by Jesus.  Ultimately, I remain naive because I forget that many people do not believe Jesus is the son of God or even that he existed in human flesh.

In reading today’s Gospel according to Luke, he recounts the time when John the Baptist send two of his followers to Jesus.  John wanted to know if Jesus was the Lord foretold by scripture so John’s disciples asked Jesus:

“‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?'”
At that time Jesus cured many of their diseases, sufferings, and evil spirits;
he also granted sight to many who were blind.”

Like most people who witnessed the miracles performed by Jesus, this was enough proof for them and Jesus said:

“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard:
the blind regain their sight,
the lame walk,
lepers are cleansed,
the deaf hear, the dead are raised,
the poor have the good news proclaimed to them.”

It is such a gift that Christians can receive the good news – or the Gospels – of our Lord Jesus Christ.

How often do I take the opportunity to share the good news?

I have not taken many opportunities to do so, even within my family and friends.  I am too worried about offending them.  Ironic in light of the final part of today’s reading where Jesus said:

“And blessed is the one who takes no offense at me.”

Last night I had an opportunity so I will share background to describe it.  I am involved in a professional organization.  I became involved in it 2 years ago and I learned a lot about myself and my vocation.  My experiences in this program led me to enroll in That Man Is You this year at my parish where I can learn to be the best husband and father that God wants me to be.

For 2012, I volunteered to work on the board of directors of my local chapter of this professional organization and last night the board met to socialize, introduce the new board members, and celebrate the past year.

One of the at-large members suggested we go around the room and share something about ourselves.  I took the opportunity to discuss my Catholic blog.  In a professional setting, it certainly could be considered a risk to discuss religion (and politics); however, I felt buoyed by the Holy Spirit.

Interestingly, I received comments from 4 other board members that they were pleased to hear about my Catholic faith.  They too are Catholics and so now we have even more to talk about at future board meetings.  One non-Catholic woman also asked me about the changes to the Missal.

Although this was only one of many topics of conversation last night, I feel like it was a brief opportunity to share the good news.  I did not quote scripture.  I did not invite the Catholic men to That Man is You (yet).  I did not convert anyone.  What I did is stand up for my faith so that people understand I am first a disciple, then a husband, then a father and finally an individual who wants to serve on this chapter’s board.

I wonder what other opportunities will be available to me?

Happy Birthday to my Mom who turns 69 today and I am happy that she has reclaimed her Catholic faith in the past few years.  Congratulations to her!

Tonight I am thankful for the gifts in my life including my family and friends.  I am also thankful for my professional experiences.  Most of all, I am thankful to understand finally that my profession is not the important matter in my life.


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