“If someone met you, how would they know that you’re different?”
“…How would they know you’re different?” This question was posed to me a few weeks ago. We were visiting my parents and siblings after a family wedding. This led us to attend Mass at my childhood parish. The deacon whom gave the homily told a story about a joyful nun he knew growing up. Despite her joy, this remarkable woman quietly suffered from a chronic illness for decades before her death. In spite of that illness, she was still the most joy filled woman anyone had ever met. There was something “different” about her.
Then, he asked the congregation, “how would someone know you are different?” He then led us to ponder; What in our lives exemplifies our identity as Catholics? How do we live as witness to trust in God’s love? What makes us different?
What Makes Me Different?
Sitting in the pew with most of my family, I remembered how often growing up people were shocked I had 8 siblings. I was often asked, “are you all from the same parents?” It was shocking that not only were there 9 of us, but my parents were not divorced. Growing up, it was easy to identify what made me different.
When we are children, our parents largely determine what makes us different. As adults, we have to make the decision that we want to be different. We have to decide if we want to remain chaste in dating, or if we want to cave to cohabitation popularity. Do we want to be open to life, or do we want to “have one of each” and call it a day? Are we going to be crushed by what’s popular, or uphold what is valuable?
If someone met you and knew nothing about you, would they know you were different? Could they look at your life and see God’s influence shining in every decision? Or would the life you live cause them to pass by, unaffected and unchanged?
More importantly, when God meets you on judgment day, will He be able to say those words? “Well done, my good and faithful servant?” Or will He say, “I do not know you.”