As mentioned in recent postings, in these beginning days of the year, we might find ourselves confronting an ages-old question: "Really, am I?" (Those who have seen the new movie production of Les Miserables may recall a song by that name.) It is a natural question if there have been moments seeking to learn what resolutions for change are suitable and needed at the outset of a new year for this life of mine?"
Read carefully the words of the gospel. Look at John the preacher, teacher and baptizer. Listen to his words. He seems to be in possession of a serene understanding of who he is and what his mission is in his life. He does not get excited by the authorities who are questioning his activities, his preaching. He conveys calm even later as he approached his death.
For us today how do we handle ourselves especially in moments that challenge our personal faith (my personal relationship with Jesus Christ)? There are more of these moments than we realize at first glance. The hot button issues of our times raise many questions and/or difficult social moments put before us by friends, family or colleagues. The underlying question is truly this: "And what is it in fact that you honestly believe?" What issues? Issues like birth control, abortion, premarital sex, abuse of a sponsor or children, accepting Church teachings that contradict accepted social mores. These are the foundations of many issues that define the intensity of our/my relationship with God. Indeed these are the realities that have created martyrs in days past.
As the new year begins, we can ask "Can I live a life of faith that God puts before me?"