We have to be recognized as Christians and Catholics by the way we live our lives.
In a podcast I was listening to, the host said that the early Christians and Catholics could be easily recognized in ancient times. They were easily recognized not because of their appearances or the clothes they were wearing, but through the lives they were living.
The early Christians and Catholics not only helped the poor, but cared for the poor. Some even chose to leave their rich and comfortable lives to live with the poor, be with them, provide for them, comfort them, and care for them.
They took to heart what Jesus said to the man in today’s Gospel reading:
“He replied and said to him, ‘Teacher, all of [the commandments] I have observed from my youth.’ Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.’” — Mark 10:20-21
Today, we, the “typical” Catholics follow the ten commandments. We pray only to One God, go to mass on Sundays, and respect and honor our parents. We do not steal, commit adultery, kill, or bear false witness.
Unlike the early Christians and Catholics, we cannot easily be recognized unless we make the sign of the cross. We no longer live like true followers of Jesus.
If we truly wish to be true followers of Jesus, we have to do more than follow the ten commandments. We have to truly love God and our neighbors — even if it means leaving our homes, sharing our possessions, getting dirty, and even leaving everything behind.
We have to be recognized as Christians and Catholics not only by the sign of the cross (which, by the way, is a reminder for us that we pray in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit), by the Scripture verses we memorized, or by how frequently we go to Church.
We have to be recognized as Christians and Catholics by the way we live our lives. We have to be recognized as Christians and Catholics by the way we love our neighbors, especially the poor and the poor in spirit.
A question we can ask ourselves: “What am I doing for others?”