Mar. 22, 2017: Wednesday, Third Week of Lent
Examining Our Reputation
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. –Matthew 5: 19
Whether we think of it or not, we are moral exemplars for others. People watch us, and some might even admire us. Children follow our example. While movie and rock stars understand that their lives are regularly observed, most of us tend to think of our lives as ordinary and private.
In the Middle Ages, one’s fama, or reputation in the public forum, was an important part of someone’s virtue. People diligently guarded their reputation. When the Church began the formal process of canonization, a person’s reputation was scrutinized, and this is still true today.
This is not to say that a good Christian is simply one whom everyone likes. We need only remember that not everyone liked Jesus! But how we live our Christianity is not a private matter. Others see how seriously we value our Christian faith by the way we behave.
Consider your public life. What do people think about you as a Christian believer? Do they see you swearing or belittling others? Do they see you gossiping? What small commandments do you break that undermine the public witness of your faith?
By Sr. Joan Mueller OSC, Journey to Joy