Throughout my life living as a practising Catholic, I’ve really felt a separation between my friends and I when it comes to religion. Most of my close friends aren’t religious and so I’ve always felt uncomfortable expressing my faith and beliefs to them and to the people around me. I think that a lot of us can relate to this problem too. We often live our Catholic lives as bystanders and onlookers, going to church on Sunday but then disassociating ourselves from religion until the next week just to do it all over again. However, Jesus calls us to share and proclaim our faith with the people around us. As Romans 10:8-9 states, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
There are many ways to be a follower of Christ around others. You don’t have to explicitly recite bible verses in conversation or force your friends to go to church. Instead, allowing the people around you to see Jesus Christ in your life can be as simple as treating other people with respect. I believe that there are three main ways in which we can allow others to witness the presence of Christ in our lives.
- Be willing to serve others – John 13: 14-15 “Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you”. When Jesus tells his disciples to wash each other’s feet, this is a reminder for all of us to respect and to serve others. Jesus reminds us that the person who wants to lead, must also be the servant to others. In order to share our faith and become a better witness to Christ, we must humble ourselves and allow others to walk first. By being humble and serving others, we can act as an example to the people around us and emulate the actions of Christ.
- Love and forgive unconditionally – God calls us to show love to others no matter what. It is very easy to love and respect those who are kind to us and those who love us. However, what about those who show animosity towards us? Peter 4:8 says, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” This bible verse allows us to see that God wants our love to transcend the sins of the other person. Although it can be difficult to forgive someone who has wronged us and someone who we feel hurt by, it is this forgiveness towards another person that can be seen by others as a powerful testimony to the presence of Christ in our lives. Colossians 3:13 “As the lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” We must learn to let go of the anger and resentment we have for others so that those around us can see the power of Christ in us.
- Be a good, kind, Godly person – Lastly, we must always strive to be a good and kind person. We must allow God to shine through our actions and in the way we treat those around us. Hebrews 13:16 states, “Do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” This verse is a helpful reminder that we should always try to care and love as Jesus would. In today’s society, with our busy lives and hurried lifestyles, it doesn’t hurt to take a deep breath and show an act of kindness to another person. Whether it be opening a door for someone or paying someone a compliment, these actions allow others to see the Godly impact that He has on our lives.
Sharing your Catholic faith in today’s society is difficult. With religion being seen as uncool or even unnecessary by others, it can be a daunting task to proclaim yourself as a follower of Christ. Society pushes us young people to conform to many negative beliefs and actions. While many may ridicule and insult the religion that we follow, it is important to stand firm and continue to live according to God’s will. If we can serve, love and be a good person to the people around us, we may become a positive example for others. By promoting kindness and the joy of being a follower of Christ, it will allow others to witness the good that is within us and may even encourage the people around us to do good as well.
Peace and God Bless,
The Quest Youth Leadership Team
(a personal reflection by Jo-Xen)