Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
[Read the Daily Reflection at Take Five for Faith or on page 9 of the parish bulletin.]
Today’s reflection speaks of integrity between what you believe and your actions. They suggest you check out a website called “This I Believe.”
The passage in Deuteronomy is a call to the people to this kind of integrity. They have been made God’s Chosen People, so now they must act like it. The same, too, with us. We have been chosen by God for Himself by the means of our baptism, so we must respond to the grace that He has given us by the way in which we live our lives.
They say that the reason why more people aren’t Catholic is because of Catholics. If we claim (as we do) to have the fullness of the means of salvation, then the logical response by others is to assume that we are holier than people who do not have the same kind of access to God’s grace (via the sacramental life, in particular).
However, this is often not the case and is quite a scandal to the world. We are seen then as hypocritical, false, and superficial in our faith. And who would want to join a church like that? We need to first look to ourselves, and make sure that we are adhering to the faith if we hope to pass it on to others. I have to have a flame burning in me, if I hope to light a fire in my neighbor.
Let’s flip this around the other way. Suppose you are someone outside of the Church and you see scandalous behavior from people who call themselves Catholics. Does this mean that the Church itself is corrupt, full of errors, or just not a good idea?
Of course not!
The Church is made up of sinners just as it always has been. But the Holy Spirit is what guides us, not the actions of any particular individual — not matter how heinous his or her actions may have been. We trust *God*, and this is why we have faith in the church that Jesus founded. For He promised to be with us always, to the end of the age. (Cf. Matt 28:20)