Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection
Friday of the 5th week of Easter, May 20, 2022
Acts 15:22-31; Ps 57:8-10, 12; Jn 15:12-17
I recall attending a function, not too long ago, where someone there made a beeline across the room to me. “You’re one of them, aren’t you?” she said. I looked at her perplexed and said, “What in the world are you talking about?” She replied, “I can tell just by watching you that you are a Christian! Just by the way you walk, talk, and greet others. There is no way you could not be!” I thought about it for a moment, and then realized she was right. All through my life, I tried to just be myself, the one who I was in everything I did. If that means I project myself as a Christian, then so be it. This is the way Jesus wants us to be, loving, caring, and genuine.
It seems the Apostles were struggling with something similar, although not in a good way. Some of the Apostles’ followers went out and portrayed themselves to be good Christians, but by their actions and statements, apparently were not. It was so unsettling that they needed to send representatives to straighten things out. Just by showing up and explaining a few things, the Gentiles were overjoyed to hear the truth and not be led astray. I would have to believe that Barnabas, Paul, Judas, and Silas, were themselves, strong Christians who projected their way of life just by the way they walked, talked, and greeted others.
Jesus reminds us again in the Gospel; that all we need to do is, “Love one another as I love you.” And then, be yourself. Are we holding ourselves up this way? Are we walking, talking, and greeting others with love? Jesus commands us to do so, not because he wants to lord it over us, but because people will notice. They will notice the genuine love you share, the way you greet them, and the way you show them you care and want to be their friend. Living your life this way can be difficult at times. There will be people who will want to take advantage of you, but if you hold your head high, and love them anyway, the truth will shine forth. And when that happens, that person from across the room will make a beeline for you and say, “Yes! You ARE one of them!”