ISSUES OF FAITH: What is your story?

WHEN I STARTED this job working for the Church probably the first thing I realized was that everyone has a story.

You may think you know someone, or can make a decision about something relating to them, but it’s lazy to assume anything, particularly with regard to individuals.

We, all of us, form quick judgments.

It’s sort of a survival instinct, and not always bad or wrong, but if you work with a varied amount of people one size fits all will get you in trouble.

Then again, I think we can be too open minded when we see things that are most definitely wrong.

We are suppose to call people out when we see or experience a line, or lines, being crossed.

There is no such thing as “your truth,” or “his/her truth.”

There is only “the truth.”

One is personal ideology and experiences, the other is what is actually the truth.

How do we determine this in our messed up culture today?

How do we embrace and recognize truth?

If you’re still reading then you know what I’m going to say. Jesus.

Wait, you say. I know people who are Christians who I can’t stand, who do terrible things, who I don’t even trust … and I would say, look in the mirror and begin there.

“Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect,” Jesus implores us in Matthew 5:48.

Is this ideal too high? Apparently not I guess, depending on your priorities.

Yes, priorities.

What are your habits? Do you realize that you can bring glory to God in your everyday work, your honest everyday work?

Yes.

And outside of work.

We know that Jesus preached everywhere; on hillsides, in homes, in synagogues and temples, and walking through a field.

What are your priorities?

Do you realize that every day you wake up is another day closer to your soul’s eternal destiny?

Don’t be afraid.

Embrace this life you have.

“I came so you could have life and have it abundantly,” Jesus tells us in John 10:10.

Does that sound so bad?

Jesus offers us a blueprint on how to live, how to get along, and for those Christians that drive you crazy, perhaps he put you beside them to show them a better way.

There are no coincidences in the design of God.

I must weigh in on the Body of Christ.

How many will sit on the judgment seat of Christ who did not recognize Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and are now passing judgment upon themselves?

If the Eucharist was just a symbol then we would likely not have this warning from Paul in 1 Corinthians 11:23-29.

Jesus is love, and Jesus is also truth.

Not our truth, the truth.

Many restless hearts out there that need not be.

Saint Peter Canisius, a 16th century Jesuit, said that while “Peter sleeps, Judas is awake.”

Much wisdom is in those five words, and certainly applicable today.

Be a warrior for Jesus, but don’t ever forget he is the prince of peace.

_________

Issues of Faith is a rotating column by five religious leaders on the North Olympic Peninsula. Mike Acheson is director of religious education at Queen of Angels Roman Catholic Church in Port Angeles and St. Joseph Parish in Sequim. His email is mikea@olypen.com.

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