diofav 23

Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

speers17Lord Jesus, every Sunday you fill me with Your bread of life, the Eucharist. But how can I give my all to you? How can I center my life around you and not center my life around me?

The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 3:12-15: “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do. And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection.”

Our self-centered society has reached epidemic proportions. It seems as if everyone is looking out for themselves. Paul’s Christian ideology was very foreign to the Church at Colossae and even to us today. We sometimes think, “I give my one hour on Sunday – I’m good. I gave a couple of bucks to the bell ringer at Christmas time – I’m charitable. Last month, I helped my neighbor find his dog – I do good deeds.” Do you attend adult faith formation, home groups or serve in parish ministries? “Nope, that’s not for me. I’m too busy doing what I want to do. Like I said, I do my one hour.”

St. Paul gently reminds us that we are God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved. Unfortunately, we sometimes miss the first three words of this scripture verse: “Put on then...” These words call us to actively live our faith. When we put something on – for instance, our clothing – other people can see it. What Paul says is that our Christian life shouldn’t encompass just a couple of hours a week; it’s something we wear 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our Christian life is a full-length robe that we never take off. When it gets soiled, we have a professional drycleaner: Jesus. Confession cleanses our garment, making it snowy white.

St. Paul then gives us instructions on what we should weave into the fabric of our lives: “heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if one has a grievance against another; as the Lord has forgiven you, so must you also do.” Paul didn’t stop there. He adds an additional layer of clothing: “And over all these put on love, that is, the bond of perfection. And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful.”

When I take off the garment of “me” and put on the garment of love, I put on Christ.

In conclusion, remember Ephesians 4:22-24: “…that you should put away the old self of your former way of life, corrupted through deceitful desires, and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth.”

Bobby Speers is a writer who lives in Hickory and serves as chairperson of St. Aloysius Church’s evangelization commission.