Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Jesus, what are you doing out here?
That was the remark made to me by one sweet young boy as I shook hands outside of church this past Sunday morning. I chuckled when I heard the question and simply told him I am the priest, Fr. Hamilton.

But for some reason, I started thinking again about his innocent comment. We were outside of the church walls and this boy wanted to know what Jesus was doing outside of church. Now, certainly that is an innocent and natural enough question for a child to ask. But I began to think and to wonder about how many adults really have the same question: "Jesus, what you are doing out here?" In other words, how many adults, though they might never verbalize this thought (though some do!), really keep Jesus in the sanctuary and think it odd that his presence, his call to us, his mission would have any impact on the world outside of the church walls. I bet that sentiment, even if not acknowledged, is rather common in the modern mind. What does Jesus, faith in him, discipleship, have to do with my life in the world, outside of church, beyond the one hour or so I spend at Mass? I have certainly encountered some very angry people who feel threatened by a Jesus who would place demands upon how we live our lives (morality), what we say about him (doctrine), and how we practice that faith (governance). I have had people yell at me in defiance when I suggest that our faith in Christ MUST influence how we do things like voting. OH, no, you don't, Jesus! You don't have any place in the voting booth with me!

I bet that boy's innocent remark reveals an attitude that, unfortunately, isn't limited to youngsters.

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