Sunday morning I awoke early and when I was ready to begin the day I thought I would make a quick visit to the chapel to check and see if everything there was prepared for the day. As I turned the corner into a long hallway, I saw three of the service team members on their way to wake the candidates and team with drums from a marching band.
With tongue in cheek, I asked the leader of the makeshift drum core, "Isn't that a little excessive?" With a grin, he answered, "Nope" (or something very close to it). I laughed and continued on my way, but not before hearing the wakeup call (it was actually pretty good).
I've spent much of this week reflecting on those few words exchanged between us, particularly in light of the first readings at Mass this week from the Books of Maccabbees which largely concern compromising religious faith and life.
There is a growing tendency today for people of faith - who actually live it out publicly and allow it to shape and inform every part of their lives - if it isn't just a little excessive:
- Isn't your insistence on the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death a little excessive?
- Isn't your insistence that marriage can only exist between a man and a woman a little excessive?
- Isn't your insistence on the immorality of pre-marital sex, cohabitation and the use of contraception a little excessive?
- Isn't your insistence on the dignity of immigrants a little excessive?
To live out one's faith is not a matter of being excessive, but rather of living in accord with the truth.
Let us beg the Lord to strengthen us with his grace so as not to compromise our faith simply to "fit in" or "not rock the boat," but to live as his faithful followers, regardless of what it will cost.