I've been thinking so much about how we behave as Catholic Christians. How do we appear to people who may be looking at us as representatives of the Catholic Church?
As I have spent the last four years studying the Bible (which is a very short time to study the Bible), I have sometimes seen glimpses of myself in the Pharisees who were attacking Jesus and eventually had him killed. I brought this up with my fellow students at school. I asked them if they thought they would recognize Jesus if he were to arrive today. One other woman expressed doubt that she would recognize Jesus, that she is so focused on adherence to the law (as were the Pharisees), that if Jesus were to deviate in any way from what we expect (as he did when he came the first time), she would not be able to see him. I expressed the same concern about myself.
There was one woman in my group who is absolutely sure that she would recognize Christ, and was equally sure all of our group would. I asked her why she is so sure. She said that we spend a lot of time studying the Bible, so that means that we would know.
I tried to remind her that the Pharisees knew the scripture backward and forward. They knew all of the laws and adhered to them without deviation. Jesus did not fit into their idea of what the Messiah should look like. They were terribly threatened by Him, and with good reason. He had little use for their legalistic approach.
I do want to be a real Catholic Christian. It has taken years, but I finally can accept all that involves. I am willing to make the sacrifices of my desires to live in adherence with what the Church demands. I hope this doesn't make me a sour faced old woman wagging my finger at those who aren't living as I think they should. Or those who aren't worshiping the way they "should" at Mass.
I pray my eyes are open to Jesus, no matter how He should appear to me.