The history of the Church is a history of holiness. Not just bishops, priests, deacons, and religious – but each and every one of us. By virtue of our Baptism, we are all called to be holy witnesses of Christ in every aspect of our daily life. That’s what it means to be a Christian. Anyone who dares to call themselves a Christian will outwardly carry the marks to identify them as a disciple of Christ. Do YOU carry these marks?
Do you conform yourself to Christ in word and deed? Jesus spoke out against sin and injustice, yet He treated everyone with love and compassion. He worked for the good of everyone by offering His love, care, and healing regardless of their wealth or social status. He had a special place in His heart for the poor, the outcast, the sick, and the grieving.
Do you seek the will of God in everything you do? Do you regularly pray and receive the Sacraments? Because, all of the Sacraments are an abundant source of Grace. Do you allow yourself to be guided by the wisdom of the Church? Do you continuously strive to join your will to God’s will?
Do you devote yourself to God’s glory? God is the ultimate source of the very gifts we have. Do you recognize His glory and might so the good you accomplish is done in His name? Are you humble in doing so?
Do you seek to love your neighbor? God places people in our lives who need our help. Are you vigilant to recognize them, and help them the best you can? Do you take care of those less fortunate or outside your circle of friends?
Do you accept the crosses that inevitably come your way? Suffering in this life is inevitable. And being a Christian does not give you a free pass to avoid suffering. But, Jesus showed us how to give value to our suffering especially when we join our suffering to His. When you offer up your suffering for others, you can experience a liberating transformation which helps you grow closer to God. You can, in essence, be “Born Again”.
God invites us to holiness so we can experience the same happiness on earth that we will in Heaven. His universal call to holiness demands nothing less than to always live with the ultimate goal of Heaven in our hearts. Jesus came into the world to show us how to do just that. How many marks of His disciple do you carry? Deacon John
Adapted from “Introduction to Catholicism for Adults” by Rev. James Socias