Defend Your Faith

Defend your Faith!

By Cynthia (Cindy) Brewer

Living our Catholic faith is often hard in our secular world; sometimes it’s harder to live it among our fellow Christians.

Although we have more in common with our separated brothers and sisters in Christ than what divides us, it seems that Satan finds the smallest differences between Christians and screams them out loud to separate us further.

One of the things that hurts me the most is when someone sees a crucifix – on my necklace or in the church – and says: “Jesus isn’t on the cross anymore – He’s resurrected.”

The best thing I can do, and the hardest for me to remember, is to reply with a question like, “What does the crucifixion of Christ mean to you?” I would assume that most Christians would reply, “Our salvation from sin and death.”

Well, what better way to celebrate our Lord’s sacrificial gift of salvation from sin and death than to show the truth of it by displaying the crucifix?

One time in this situation I did remember to ask a question, “Do you know what St. Paul said about the crucified Christ? Paul said, ‘We preach Christ crucified!’ (cf. 1 Cor. 1:23) – with my crucifix, I’m only imitating Paul.”

Now it’s still difficult for me to memorize Bible verses, especially since I’ve entered “the age of forgetfulness,” but I try to remember that one – 1st Corinthians, Chapter 1, verse 23 (seeing the 1-2-3 sequence helps me remember).

The full verse says, “… but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles …” (1 Cor. 1:23).

The crucifix seems to have become a “stumbling block” for some Christians. I wonder if these same Christians would also scrutinize the second of the four Memorial Acclamations said in Mass after the consecration of the Eucharist. Although the resurrection is proclaimed throughout the Mass, this verse does not mention Christ’s resurrection.

In it we say, “When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your Death, O Lord, until you come again.” As soon as it is said, I hear the accusations in my mind, “But Jesus is resurrected!”

I have to admit my favorite acclamation is the first of the four, “We proclaim your Death, O Lord, and profess your Resurrection until you come again.” It leaves no doubt to others that we believe in Christ’s resurrection.

But what is surprising is that the second acclamation (we proclaim your Death, O Lord…) comes straight from St. Paul, again in his letter to the Corinthians. In fact it comes from today’s (Sept. 16, 2018) readings in the Mass, “… For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes” (verse 26 of 1 Cor. 11:17-26, 33).

If this proclamation was strong enough for St. Paul and first-century Corinthians, it should be reliable enough for me!

Remember just four words to defend your crucifix: “… we proclaim Christ crucified” (1 Cor. 1:23).