Sunday, January 22, 2006

Decisions

Today's homily addressed decisions and how each decision we make impacts not only ourselves but can impact others. Father Phan used the example of Jonah and when God called him to Nineveh to tell the community to change their ways or face God's wrath. Jonah fled and didn't want to do such a task... after all the Ninevites were enemies. But eventually he heeded God's call and amazingly they turned from their evil ways and were saved.
He also used the example of the first call of the apostles. The fact that they said "yes" and followed Christ lead to our salvation. Because they continued to teach and pass on Christ's message, we have the ability to also live as Christ's followers. And once again... it was a choice that they made. It may have been part of God's ultimate plan... but they had to make the decision to say yes.
Every day we are called to respond to God's graces. And no, it is not a single moment of faith that allows us to be God's followers. Even though we may have been called into His service and made a proclamation of faith (such as in confirmation), we still have to make choices to live Christ-like lives. And we do, we are able to receive the graces of God. And once again... it's not a matter of works that allow us to be "saved" or receive graces. It is making those decisions to live according to God's standards.
The decisions we make about how we live and the choices we make impact us. Not only does it impact our final destination after we die, but it affects our lives on a daily basis. And though we may not always realize it, our lives can impact others. I am not a big proponent of going door to door and spreading the good news about Christ and asking people about their personal relationship with Christ. To me it is very invasive. I don't want people coming to my door and interrupting my life in that way and I certainly don't want to impart myself on others in that manner. But if I choose to live a holy life, then I am alrady being a witness for Christ in my actions and words. And if someone chooses to ask me about my faith, my Church, and my life, I will be glad to share it with them. And I did that just last night. My friend that was here asked me a multitude of questions about the Catholic faith and it's teachings. I answered her questions to best of my ability.
It's not that I am trying to draw people into the Church. But if someone asks me about why I have chosen this Church and what they teach, I will share it with them. It doesn't mean they are going to drop everything and start RCIA classes themselves... but perhaps it gives them something to think about. At the very least if someone sees me as a person of faith and admires the way I live, then I have at least set an example. And I've said many times before and I'll say it again. I am still a work in progress. But I have seen a great deal of progress made in the past year that I have been going to Church.
We also have to consider the fact that we don't know how we will impact others when we die. Sometimes it is when someone deals with the death of someone close to them and see how that person lived their lives andrealizes how their faith affected them, then they might just take a long, hard look at their own lives... especially if they are unbelievers or fallen from faith.
This lesson today reminded me very much of the book The Five People You Meet In Heaven. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It isn't a complex book that is difficult to understand. It simply deals with a man's life, the end of it. It is the reflection back on the events of his life and how others impacted it and how he impacted a multitude of others... though he had never stopped to think about it. Sometimes we cannot realize those we impact even though we may have never met them in person. It could be a simple observation, something perhaps posted on a blog or maybe even a few kind words.
It is something to certainly think about, isn't it?

1 comment:

latibug said...

I have not read the book Five People you meet in Heaven. I tried watching the movie, but just got lost in the over (or under) acting.

Maybe I will check out the book at the library.