Becoming an ally to Christ
Standing in the shadow of anyone we admire without coming forth in support makes us an adversary. It is easy to cheer a hero and join in support without making our voices heard places our intentions in jeopardy of being lost in the wind. Remember growing up when dandelions were plentiful and when their flower became little white entities that could be blown away how we blew and into the wind they flew. That is a simple analogy of what a lack of support to someone we admire looks like.
As each one receives the Sacrament of Confirmation our testimony says we will become an ally to Christ when spreading the gospel in some manner to those whom we encounter that don’t know Jesus and what he taught, through signs and sometimes words. The old saying of Francis of Assisi was preach the gospel to people and if necessary use words.
Our church teaches that the gifts of the Holy Spirit, once received, should become a transitory means of indoctrinating the gospel to those whom we believe need to hear about Jesus. Too often there are those who may feel the urge to speak up then fail because of fear, embarrassment, or are intimidated by social pressure.
Jesus told his disciples at Gethsemane when they couldn’t stay awake and pray with him, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mt. 26: 40-43). That same scenario occurs with everyone at times when we must overcome that block of speaking out. Did you ever fail to mention a feeling you know you should let your mouth open and speak, then later ask yourself, “Why didn’t I say something that was eating away at my mind?”
That familiar thought is not new and uncommon. Place yourself in a situation where you found that a speech or exhortation you were to make became a blank because you either forgot the text and didn’t have your copy with you, or you were going to ad lib and couldn’t remember the words.
I’ve mentioned that same experience before and will try to shorten it here. I never wrote my homilies, although I was always prepared, and never had a problem giving them. One Sunday, before Mass my experience of forgetting the theme left me speechless before driving to church. This never happened before. My pastor asked me, before Mass started what my theme was. I told him I couldn’t remember. He was flabbergasted and I was frightened. When I completed the gospel I picked up the microphone from the middle of the sanctuary, saying to myself here goes nothing. The words just flowed and never did know what I said. After returning home I looked up and asked, “What are you doing to me?” The voice I heard was, “You’re alway speaking about faith, today I tested yours!”
So, when you feel the spirit is nudging you with a message to deliver be assured he will not leave you high and dry. It can be a speech, a homily, a short two or three word message, or a guide for another without words. Do not let the enemy induce you to keep silent; open up and if others don’t agree listen to your heart.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Faith of being an ally to Christ!