What do our Actions Represent?
Apr 8, 2019
About a week ago I received a phone call from a woman who works in “a local restaurant” near Blaine. She had a concern that I think is worthy of passing on. She spoke of how parishioners from St. Joe’s frequent the restaurant after Sunday “services” (Mass) and do not represent themselves or “church-going” people very well. The younger servers who will report themselves as Christians have a bad taste of going to church due to the way they are treated by the “church-goers” who are demanding and rude to them. She wondered if the pastor could have a sermon someday to remind the church going members that they are representing something greater than themselves wherever they are.
I found this to be a very poignant request that echoes what I try to preach about with some frequency. We are the body of Christ remaining here on earth until He comes again. It may seem when we are away from the church building that people will not recognize us as Christians, but often times in our conversations, especially after the Mass, will often give witness to the fact that we had been to church. We will speak of things that happened there, or of what we heard both in the readings and the homily. St. Paul reminds us that we carry Christ in our bodies. If this is the case we have to keep in mind how we are perceived by others, and also how we might perceive them.
If our behavior is not marked by the realization that we are representatives of Jesus we can be unwittingly chasing people away from church instead of being beacons inviting them to join us. We might think because they are “working” for us as servers we have some right to make demands of them. I have found that at the times I most want to make a demand of my servers they are usually being overwhelmed by other customers. Sometimes they have more people than they can serve well at one time, other times they are already dealing with other demanding customers. It is precisely at that point I can be most effective as a witness by paying attention to them and reaching out to them with a kind word.
The phone call was a very broad appeal, made out of concern for the younger servers who were being scandalized by “church-goers”. I think she has valid concerns and that is why I pass them on to you.