Faithful and attractive witnesses to Jesus

Mr. Wilson said he was happy to see me, but the ‘happy’ never made it to his face.

Presented at the “Under 59 Strategic Planning Weekend”
Saturday, December 12, 2009, 3:30 p.m.
Session IV: Witness & Collaborative Opportunities

It should come as no surprise that a cartoon character that I have followed since childhood is Dennis the Menace. One scene, in particular, shows Dennis and a friend walking out of his neighbor’s house, the Wilsons, with Mr. Wilson standing at the doorway. Dennis says to his friend, “Mr. Wilson said he was happy to see me, but the happy never made it to his face.”

I like this scene because it speaks about the connection between what is said and how it is expressed; in other words, what we do in relation to how we do it. Or, to be more specific in our lives, “the quality of our work and the quality of our presence.”

While it is important to celebrate and affirm the achievements in our professional ministries, we need to consider that how we live our lives may have more of an impact on others than what we actually accomplish in our work.

In thinking about what it means to be faithful and attractive witnesses to Jesus Christ and his Gospel, the term “witness” first comes to mind.

By definition, a witness is one who has seen, heard, experienced and, therefore, believes in something. As Marianists, we are called to be witnesses to our faith.

Some of the basic tenets of our faith include the “Good News”—that we are a people of the resurrection; that darkness always yields to light; that death leads to resurrection; that we are all loved by God; and that the crucifix, which is a symbol of execution, also is a powerful symbol of hope—that death does not have the final word.

With such “good news,” how can we not live our lives with joy, gratitude, passion and enthusiasm?

Being a witness to our faith also keeps us grounded in our realities: the limitations of our resources, the weaknesses of our humanity and the challenges of our daily lives.

Despite these realities, as faithful witnesses, we can hold our ideals before us as a guide to move forward together as a community and invite others to walk with us in hope, joy, passion and enthusiasm for our shared vocation.

And, when others see that joy expressed by how we live our lives, they will find us as faithful and attractive witnesses to Jesus Christ and his Gospel.

Explore posts in the same categories: Reflections

One Comment on “Faithful and attractive witnesses to Jesus”

  1. Thank you for your reflection on our life and of the recent conversation on the Province Strategic Plan with our Brothers under 59. Our faith and our Marianist way of life are is certainly a cause for joy and hope. Lets continue to pray for our province and allow the Spirit to do what it does best.

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