By Zoe Cannon
Gratitude for the gift of faith
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Ephesians 4:15).
When I read Scripture, it provides insight into the injustices of the world. The understanding of God’s love shoulders responsibility in sharing the truth. “To whom much given, much will be required” (Luke 12:48).
The Book of Acts, written by Luke, is a great study about the early Church. Luke reminds us that the power of the Holy Spirit was given to the Apostles to build up the Kingdom of God. I wanted to give my grandsons a better appreciation of the struggles in forming the Church. We began studying the Acts of the Apostles, and I could never imagine the interest of children so young. They have become defenders of the faith with their new superheroes – the Apostles of Jesus!
In Acts chapter 6, we read about the growth of the Church and the need for helpers in the ministry. Seven men were chosen, and Stephen was ordained as the first deacon of the Church. I explained that the word deacon means, “to serve.” I told them we are all called to act in ways that will help bring people to Jesus and His Church. My seven-year-old grandson raised his hand, and I fully expected a question, like, “what is for lunch?” Instead, he was wondering if I thought I would still be alive when he had children. I told him that would be a wonderful blessing, but only God knows the plan for each of us. He finished by saying, “I would like for you to teach them about Jesus because you explain it very well.” The innocence of children is a treasured gift. This precious statement meant the world to me. Teaching the good news of Jesus to all people can make the world a better place!
I am reading a book by Father John Riccardo, “Heaven Starts Now – Becoming a Saint Day by Day.” We need to realize that a universal call to holiness begins at home. Nurturing the human heart with the rich promises of Jesus will fill life’s journey with abundant grace. There are contrasting worldviews all around us, and the voice of truth today is as important as it was for the first disciples of the early Church. There will be suffering because we live in a world where the Christian voice is often censored, and fear of criticism and persecution are real.
Speaking truth in love and being Christ to others is a wonderful blessing; but often, the message is rejected due to a lack of understanding of Church teaching. I find the Catechism of the Catholic Church to be a great source of information.
If our children are to grow up in every way as Christ, we need to share Truth with them – even at a very early age – within the loving environment of our home. This is how we can serve one another and the Body of Christ – speak truth. Amen!