What is that old saying?
Jun 23, 2017
What is that old saying? “With friends like that, who needs enemies?” Jeremiah’s friends are whispering behind his back, watching his every move, setting their traps, and plotting his demise. The life of the prophet is never pretty, not often smooth, and always problematic. It’s the same with us, as disciples of Christ. In his treatise on the Gospel of Luke, Scottish theologian William Barclay famously wrote, “Jesus promised his disciples three things: That they would be completely fearless, absurdly happy, and in constant trouble.” [not a Chesterton quote, I’m afraid.]
Sing it Barclay, I hear you.
Because we are disciples, we are called to be fearless, joyful, and in trouble. We are to be fearless like the Coptic Catholics who go to Mass each Sunday, knowing it is a possibility that they will join the ranks of the martyrs that day. They probably have friends who are enemies in disguise. Maybe your “fearless” is protecting the unborn or the dignity of women or the sanctity of marriage. We are to be absurdly happy like Fr. Mike Schmitz, the Franciscan Sister of the TOR, Leah Darrow, or even our own Mary Kline, who radiates an inner joy like no other. Maybe your “happiness” is picking up trash or packing rice bags at FMSC, or adoring the Lord while praying for others. And, we are to be in constant trouble, like Jeremiah or Dorothy Day or Oscar Romero. I’m afraid if I give you ways to be in trouble, I’ll get in trouble. Wait a minute…. Be fearless! Be in trouble! Here goes: write that letter to the editor, talk about faith at work, and insist that God can be mentioned in the public arena.
As disciples of Christ, we are called to challenge and change our communities and spread the JOY of the faith. Like Jeremiah. Like the Apostle Paul. Like Jesus.