“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me.”
As I read through the scripture passage for today, this was the line that kept sticking out to me. It resonated and stayed with me. I knew God wanted to speak to me through this line, so I spent some time meditating in prayer.
As I prayed through this line, I thought of the arguments for God and the religious debates I have had. How many times did I seek to win an argument or prove that I was right rather than actually listen and show love to someone? Even more frightening though, I was reminded of all the times I had spoken to someone about Jesus, about His teachings, about His Church…and then didn’t act or behave in a way that showed I really believed it myself.
Why would anyone believe what I was saying if I hadn’t let Christ transform the way I treated everyone in my life, especially those who disagreed with me? After all, isn’t our Christian model the way to reach the world?
Fr. Cantalamessa, preacher to the Papal household, stated:
“Pope Paul VI has famously said that ‘the world needs witnesses more than it needs teachers.’ It is relatively easy to be a teacher. It is much less easy to be a witness. In fact, the world is full of both true and false teachers, but has few witnesses. Between the two roles there is the same difference as that between saying and doing. ‘Actions,’ an English proverb says, ‘speak louder than words.’”
As I continued to reflect on this passage, I remembered the times when I had truly been a witness for Christ, when I had really shared His love with others. In these times, my love for Christ and His people was demonstrated through my actions. Through the extra act of kindness or of sacrifice. It was in those moments that I truly felt God working through me to reveal Himself to others.
Finally, I asked myself, “Have I really lived out my Faith this Lent? Or had I simply given lip service to God?”
With one week remaining in this Lenten season, I am now determined, with God’s help, to turn my words into action. I invite you to join me in this challenge to be a better witness this Lent, so that together, we might reach the world for Christ.
Tom Bruner lives in Philadelphia, PA with his wife Therese and daughter Lucy. He works for FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students as a Director of Collegiate Outreach in the East.
Photo credit: http://acfottawa.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/20111113_gods-work-our-witness-teaser-trailer_poster_img.jpg