When I was a little girl, I used to thank God for making me a Catholic. I don’t know why. I didn’t have any basis for comparison. I was a cradle Catholic. I went to Catholic school so all my friends were Catholic. It wasn’t that I thought you could only get to heaven if you were Catholic. It was just what I knew.
Or maybe it was the pretty little chapel veils we pinned to our hair.
Anyway, now that I’m older and wiser, I am well aware that some of the kindest, most loving, and most generous people I know are not Catholic. Surprise, surprise, God loves them too.
I was thinking about this as I listened to the readings at yesterday’s Mass. Not really about being Catholic (though I still love my Catholic faith), but about being a Christian. Because, boy, the message was clear. Prepare the way of the Lord. Between the words of Isaiah and St. Mark’s story of John the Baptist, it was clear that Advent is a time of preparation. I mentioned this last week when I was talking about how caught up I was in the secular side of the season. Now, Monsignor tells me not only do I have to prepare personally for the coming of Christ, I have to prepare others as well. Just like John the Baptist.
Whaaaaat? I have a job during Advent? I’m too tied up hanging my stockings with care to prepare the way for others.
Of course, I don’t own any clothes made out of camel hair and I simply refuse to eat locusts and honey (though some of my grandkids have been known to eat a bug or two).
But I can do what I can do, if only through example. And rats, Monsignor even said I have to be nice to the people who show up Christmas Day for Mass and take my seat. Now that’s asking a lot.
But as a Catholic Christian, I have to make sure I am demonstrating that all Christians should be full of the love that Jesus modeled and asked us to carry on in his name.
Of course, Jesus didn’t have to give up his pew in church.