Being ashamed of someone implies a familial relationship, a deep level of caring. We can get mad at people in whom we have no emotional investment. Being ashamed is reserved for those for whom we love.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reveals that he will be ashamed of whoever is ashamed of him. How painful to see that shame on his face. I want to avoid doing anything that would lead to it but I find sometimes I am ashamed.
I am ashamed of him when I am too embarrassed to give thanks for my food when in a restaurant.
I am ashamed when I implicitly agree with something wrong because I don’t want to be seen as a weirdo.
I am ashamed when I don’t tell people how profoundly my life has changed for the better because of his love.
I am ashamed when I don’t defend the teachings of the Church as Truth.
It is what I refrain from doing or saying because I am still too concerned with what others think. The only one whose opinion matters is the Lord’s.
I need to be ok with being judged by strangers, and given today’s faithless and sinful generation, probably mocked or criticized or called names. In this divisive time, secular society has decided what we can and cannot believe and say. Even if we quietly live our Catholic faith, we experience the judgment. As my husband and I went through a deepening of our faith over the past six years or so, we have grown closer to Jesus and farther from some friends. We know that our decision to embrace our Catholicity has turned them off. We don’t preach or condemn but we also don’t hide decisions we have made for ourselves and our family.
But more and more just living our faith is not enough. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older but I fear for our society. We ran into some neighbors who were telling us how diverse our old block had become but when they described the Orthodox Jewish family as part of a cult, we realized that diversity only applies to lifestyle not religious beliefs.
I do not ever want Jesus to be ashamed of me – he died to save my soul – so words need to be used. I pray for the courage to use those words and not be ashamed of our Savior.
Merridith Frediani loves words and is delighted by good sentences. She also loves Lake Michigan, dahlias, the first sip of hot coffee in the morning, millennials, and playing Sheepshead with her husband and three kids. She writes for Catholic Mom, Diocesan.com, and her local Catholic Herald. Her first book Draw Close to Jesus: A Woman’s Guide to Adoration is available at Our Sunday Visitor and Amazon. You can learn more at merridithfrediani.com.
Feature Image Credit: SEVENHEADS, https://pixabay.com/photos/fear-terror-hidden-hands-shame-299679/