Anything worthwhile costs us something, most especially our faith. If we are serious about it, if we love God and want to be caught up in his life, we’re going to have to pay for it in some way. Jesus speaks to that in today’s Gospel. One of the biggest costs to us, I think, is our comfort zone. To really live the faith, we have to get out of that comfort and do what God wants of us. In the Gospel, Jesus was telling his disciples that they would have to give witness to him. And they understood that that would cost them something – perhaps cost them their lives.
We disciples are also going to have to pay some price for living our faith. Probably not something as drastic as getting dragged before synagogues, rulers and authorities, but something fairly costly for us. For us today, perhaps that cost is giving up a Saturday to clean church pews, or trim a neighbor’s hedges, or sing songs at a nursing home.
Today, on our Make a Difference Day, we take our give strong witness to our faith in our work. As we come together to pack meals at Feed My Starving Children, spend time in adoration praying for our community, or clean up our parish grounds, our presence and concern may be the way God is using us to get someone’s attention and see his presence in her or his life. As Saint Therese of Liseaux used to encourage her sisters, we can make a big difference by doing little things with great love.
Jesus tells us that we will receive gifts of the Holy Spirit that enable us to speak on behalf of our faith. As we engage in whatever we have signed up to do today, that same Spirit may give us gifts that answer prayers we didn’t even know we had in our hearts, and definitely answer the prayers of others. Our work gives witness to who Christ is in our lives; Christ who loves us first and loves us best. Sharing that love in the work we do today is a powerful way to help others know the presence of Christ in their lives.
Living our faith is always going to cost us something and that something could well be status or popularity, or at least the wondering glance from people who aren’t ready to accept the faith. But the volumes that we speak by living our faith anyway might just lay the groundwork for conversion and become a conduit of grace. We are told that we don’t have to hammer out all the words we want to say; that the Holy Spirit will give us eloquence that we can only dream of. And it’s true, if we trust God, if we live our faith when it’s popular or unpopular, we will have the Spirit and the words. God only knows what can be accomplished in those grace-filled moments! I pray that you see Christ everywhere as you witness today.