OWe’ve all seen those hardcore sports fans who wear their team colors and all sorts of merchandising regardless of the time of year or how well their team performs. There’s something to be amazed about there, and secretly the rest of us, who only follow our favorite team when they’re doing well, wish they had the same level of enthusiasm and loyalty.
Let us now turn this same idea to our Christian life. Are we friends of Jesus in good weather, or do we retain our enthusiasm and loyalty in times of trial?
Review the life of Our Lord. When he performed miracles, crowds of adoring fans followed him wherever he went. A man’s friends couldn’t bring him close enough to Jesus, so they scaled the roof of the house and drilled a hole in it to drop the man in need of healing.
Everyone followed him. On Palm Sunday, when Our Lord triumphantly entered Jerusalem, the pennants were green, the parade glorious.
Five days later, in the Garden of Gethsemane, after the traitor Judas came with the soldiers to capture Jesus, Peter drew his sword to defend Our Lord. He knew that Jesus could overcome the enemies before them without any difficulty. He had just seen them all fall to the ground at the mere sound of the voice of Our Lord. He threw out a question that was actually a statement, a statement of “Let’s go!” He attacked with zeal and made a mess. Our Lord cleaned up the mess and, in effect, told him that fighting a glorious hand-to-hand battle was not the answer. On the contrary, this time they had to look like losers.
We all know what happened. Peter fled. Everyone too.
And U.S ? Are we ready to wear the colors of Christ in good and bad times? Are we ready to look like losers? Our Lord’s message in the Garden to the sleeping apostles was clear – watch and pray. He warned them, as He warns us. We cannot solve the problem in our own way. We must watch and pray and let him act in us. We are all too quick to draw the sword of our own volition, especially in the most difficult of circumstances. The test is, what do we do when we realize that Our Lord wants us to sheath that sword and face the enemy without a fight, looking like a loser? Watch and pray.
A non-believer looks at the crucifix and sees a loser. A Christian looks at the crucifix and sees TheWinner. What do we see? Will we follow him? Are we going to ask forgiveness for our persecutors while we hang on the cross as he did? Will we hide his team colors in times of trial? Let’s watch and pray. We follow The Winner, and it will be worth it.
Br. MaximeLiane Watner is on the staff of St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Buckingham County. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.