Word Became Flesh

“I would like everyone to feel comfortable, that’s why I’d like to talk to you about Jesus.”
- Jim Gaffigan

Ever notice that the easiest way to make people nervous is to start talking about Jesus and Christianity? Even Christians get nervous when the topic comes up at work or family gatherings. Thoughts start racing through your head, “What if they start talking about controversial subjects? How am I supposed to defend God? I don’t know enough to explain my beliefs.” And yet, as disciples of Christ, we are told “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father” (John 14:12).

We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. The Great Commission sends us out in the word to proclaim the Good News. We are given the privilege to share with others the Word who became flesh. So, what does that look like?

GK Chesterton has written a lot about his dislike for big words and long sentences. I believe Chesterton would have been a fan, or at least intrigued, with Twitter. Limited to only 140 characters in your message, you can’t mess around with fancy language. In Orthodoxy (1908) he wrote, “It is a good exercise to try for once in a way to express any opinion one holds in words of one syllable.” While I won’t promise only one-syllable words, I offer the following tweets with short explanations in italics for those who need more than 140 characters.

7 Tweets for Disciples
  • "Ignorance of scripture is ignorance of Christ" St. Jerome #ReadYourBible
Spend time reading and learning about Jesus.

  • "All human evil comes from a single cause, man's inability to sit still in a room."
    Blaise Pascal #ClassroomOfSilence
Spend time in prayer in which you simple listen to God.

  • "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 #GodsAlreadyWon
God doesn’t need you to convince every person or win every argument. Relax.

  • Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” 1 Peter 3:15 #Gentleness
In addition to reading Scripture, read the Catechism, join a Bible study group and learn about your faith.

  • It’s ok to say, “I don’t know.” But make sure you go find out the answer. #HumilityisNotDefeat
You aren’t expected to know the answer to every question. Never let a person cause you to doubt because you have no answer. Embrace it as a chance to learn more about your faith.

  • “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom 3:23  #WeAllNeedJesus
Don’t neglect to tell someone about Jesus because you are afraid to bring up the sin you see. We all need salvation. We all were born with original sin.

Make sure to read the whole chapter. James encourages us to find joy in the trials that test our faith.

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**This article was written for Today's Disciple (a magazine published by my parent's church in Orlando, FL: St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church).

Jesus, the Just One

Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight;
I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.
Matthew 12:18

“It’s not fair.” A sentence exclaimed when a person believes that have not been treated as they should. Or, in my experience, exclaimed when a person does not get what they want. When we talk about justice we seem to apply this same underlying definition. It makes sense that these two words get used interchangeably since fairness is used to define justice in the dictionary. I think in our hearts we have a better understanding of the definition of justice. Just look at the themes and titles in the Christian section of any bookstore. The major theme is God’s mercy. We all love God’s mercy. Now, God’s justice? Well, good thing we have his mercy to take care of that issue. Deep down, even when we incorrectly cry out injustice towards ourselves, our clinging to God’s mercy demonstrates our acknowledgement of what we truly deserve.  Paul writes in Romans 6:23 that “the wages of sin is death.” And so we love to hear of God’s mercy and cry foul when we are confronted with his justice.
Let’s take a step back. I think justice deserves another look. God’s justice is as desirable a virtue for us to cling to in our relationship with God as mercy. It is an attribute of himself that he calls us to desire, “He has told you, O man, what is good; 
And what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, to love kindness, 
and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8) In the ministry and mission of Jesus we are given an example of justice.
In the parable of the workers in the field (Matt 20:1-16) Jesus tells of a landowner who went out to find workers to tend his field. As the day went on he gathered more workers. When it was time for everyone to get paid the ones who had been there since the morning expected to be paid more. The farmer paid everyone the same amount. Just as we might do, they became angry at being treated “unfairly” because they worked longer. The farmer reminded the workers what they agreed on for their wage and that he did not break that promise. In the same way, Jesus teaches us that his justice will never waiver. That is a priceless security. What he has promised he will do. His justice is unchanging.
We are called to show this same justice to others. Jesus shows us that everyone is worthy of being treated with the dignity in which they were created. He reached out to the lowest in society’s eyes and brought them the same gift of salvation. There are not different levels in heaven for economic classes, ethnic groups, or occupations. It is to all people he offers the gift of heaven. We are commissioned to share that same justice and invite all people to become workers in the Lord’s fields.

**This article was written for Today's Disciple (a magazine published by my parent's church in Orlando, FL: St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church).