St Joseph and St Mary Parishes in Freeport, IL

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Be Bold, Be Catholic 7

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Giving witness to others is noticed in the limelight, but it starts in the recesses of your heart and integrity of life. If we do not love Jesus, it makes it hard to witness to him and ends up being a self-glorification, even when not intended to be that way. If it is not exercised when others are not looking, then all the efforts come to no fruit. This does not mean we must have perfection of life. It means that we really have to rely on God’s grace.

The motivating force we have in witnessing about our faith is our love for Jesus. If we do not love, we will not be motivated to spread the good news. But what is the motivating force of loving Jesus? The Bible says, “not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10). When we discover how much Jesus loves us and the cost that our salvation has cost Him, only then can we appreciate and respond to His call to witness to this very good news. If we look at the story of Jesus’ crucifixion as an event that has nothing to do with us, then the witness we give would miss the mark and the fruit would be at best very limited. This does not mean that it is null and void. It may open doors. What motivates people to come into the faith is when they see people of faith motivated. The love that motivates is contagious. God so loved us, that He was motivated to die on the cross for us. Are you motivated by His love?

This motivation does not just affect the seen, but the unseen as well. Integrity of life is very important here. If you trip and fall, do not be troubled by that. Go to confession and keep plugging along. Integrity is found in the intentions. If we truly love Jesus, we will do our best no matter who is looking…or not. Just keep your eyes on Jesus and focus on pleasing Him. The reason for our witness is to please Him. So when we are in our room alone, we will want to please Him there too.

In sports, this might be likened to execution of a game or a play. You have to finish off the play or game. Even when others are not looking you have to execute the virtue well and follow through. If a football player does not execute and finish off the tackle well, the running back may get free and run for a touchdown. Execution of a play could mean the winning or losing of a game. Living our life in integrity could mean the winning or losing of souls. If we have never entered the game, how many souls would have been lost! So even when we are not in the company of eyes seeing what we do, they affect the fruit we bear.

The fruit that may accompany our works comes from God. We do our good works in the presence of God at all times. He sees everything. These acts of good works are sacrifices we make to His Holy Name which adds His grace. So the fruit is not something we provided. It is something God has added to our works. Thus, we participate on God’s work. This is how God chose to bring about salvation to souls. He wants us to participate in His grace. This is why Paul said, “Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church” (Colossians 1:24).

Author: stjosephstmary

We are two Catholic Churches close to downtown Freeport, IL. Our communities are over 150 years old and have been dedicated to our lord Jesus Christ since our inception. We believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was concieved by the Holy Spirit, born of ythe Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilot, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the father almighty; from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

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