HE HAS OPENED THE DOOR
Saint Paul left an enduring mark on the Church. Until his ministry began, the followers of Jesus were seen to be no more than one of the many sects of the Jewish religion. In fact, the first believers maintained dual worship. They were united by their faith in Jesus, but they continued the customs of the older religion. Paul saw Christianity as something completely new. It is a religion in its own right. He did this when he baptized former pagans and did not insist that they continue Old Testament customs. Some Christian groups seem to be more grounded in the Old Testament and its harsh laws. Christianity must be seen as something totally new, based upon the New Testament law of love.
THE MARK OF A DISCIPLE
Many people can be known by the uniforms they wear: Police, Nurses, Soldiers, Priests. This grants them instant recognition, protection and willingness to serve. Jesus teaches that all of his followers must wear a uniform that is just as visible. It is not made of cloth or brass. It is a uniform of love. We must be patient, merciful and tolerant, but not aggressive, opportunistic, or over-bearing. People should be able to look at our concern for others and willingness to sacrifice ourselves and say "THAT MUST BE A CHRISTIAN, I CAN TELL." Other people can exercise all these qualities--and should--but our compassion has to be OUTSTANDING!
© 2000 by Father Richard Lonsdale. You may freely copy this document. It may be freely reproduced in any non-profit publication.
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