The world we live in today has changed. Morals and values have shifted to a new evolution of people where a materialistic world has become an enemy and ally of teaching and sharing about Christ. But is having a relationship with Jesus, SEXY? (Yes, I just used Jesus and sexy in the same sentence). I am not talking about the physical definition of sexy but the urban definition meaning “hip”, “the-new-topic”, “anything that is cool”. As a CCD teacher and activate member of my church’s youth and young adult ministry I have witnessed a wave of students enter the process of confirmation and watched them leave just as quick. We are not connecting or re-connecting our students with their faith with Christ. The bond, the INTERDEPENDENCE between CHRIST and “activate” parishioners are weak, hence a weaker response in sharing real values and morals of Christ.
Why is that an average of 100 people get confirmed from my parish each year and no more then 5-10 people return to continue their faith journey? (In my case I was the only one who return to serve and 10 years later I’m still active in ministry). I heard all the excuses: I don't like the people there, there are too much cliques, I don't fit, I’m too busy now or what people at church are hypocrites (which is true). We easily see what others are doing wrong to us but we forget what we are not doing right. FAITH begins with you. Everyone else that we encounter is essential people to teach you things along this road called life. Remember, we should do things that better yourself. We start by strengthening ourselves, increasing the light within us so we share the light to others. A life of Christ is difficult one. It’s because HIS life goes against the crowd, our society and the image of a normal life. We seek the approval of people rather seeking the approval of God. Jesus asked you to follow HIM but His intention wasn't for to stay a follower but for you to become a leader. God doesn't need people to blend in, He needs people to standout. To speak the Truth and share it. I know that might not be sexy in today’s society but who cares. I find it to make people far more stronger as a person. Their smile are real. Confidence and a positive attitude makes a person “sexier” then the clothes they wear or the people they hang out with.
The “truth” about sharing your FAITH can be scary because we don't know how our friends and family will react. But faith is not only shared by your words. "Preach the gospel always, If necessary use words." ~ St. Francis of Assisi. We preach, we share and we live our Faith. God didn't tell them how to live their lives without showing them first. We shouldn’t be afraid that what we are doing is out of the norm. Embrace what is right and turn away from what stirs you wrong and brings you pain. Living a life with faith and truth with pain is far better then living a life of false hopes and misleading friends. Choosing to better yourself when everyone else decides to turn away displays strength. Strength is a characteristic that is only received by those who seeks the truth and are not afraid to endure pain to receive a greater good.
As a concern Catholic I think we have failed to show people how to live their faith in a world that forgot about the morals it grew upon. I am still trying to do my part to teach and display a “good” life and the simplicity of what God asks use to do daily: Say Good, Do Good, Be Good. When you live your faith, you share it the same time. Now that is the truth…