“Moving from being a ‘chameleon’ Christian to being ‘committed and convinced’ Christians!”
(Based on 2 Kings 24:8-17 and Mt 7:21-29 – Thursday of the 12th Week of Ordinary Time)
A chameleon is a tree-dwelling lizard with long thin legs, a strong curled tail and a long sticky tongue.
One of the special characteristic of the chameleon is the ability to change its colour.
The chameleon takes the colour of its background and environment – tree, bush, or grass etc.
Generally it was considered that this change of colour happens by dispersion of pigment-containing organelles within their skin.
However, recent researches (2014) show a different picture…
Chameleons have two superimposed layers within their skin that control their colour and thermoregulation.
The top layer contains a lattice of guanine nano-crystals.
By exciting this lattice, the spacing between the nano-crystals can be manipulated, which in turn affects which wavelengths of light are reflected and which are absorbed.
Exciting the lattice increases the distance between the nano-crystals, and the skin reflects longer wavelengths of light.
Thus, in a relaxed state the crystals reflect blue and green, but in an excited state the longer wavelengths such as yellow, orange, and red are reflected.
Is this not a similar case with many Christian lives as well?
Many Christians are like the chameleon – they can take on the colour of the world about them.
Just as it is difficult to distinguish the chameleon from the background, so it is very difficult to distinguish many Christians from the background of the world in which they live!
And the reason for this seems to be similar as well, just as the chameleons.
Perhaps such Christians have two superimposed-layers…
The top layer with the tag of “Christian” – but containing a lattice of “personal agenda” and “sinful inclinations”
When the external surroundings get conducive and favourable, this “lattice” of sin and duplicity expands – the colour changes – from “holiness” to “worldliness”!
The Gospel of the Day is a bold reminder and warning to us Christians from possessing such kind of a “colour-changing attitude” – professing one thing and living something else to suit the surroundings!
Jesus declares, “Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter the Kingdom of heaven, but he who does the Will of my Father who is in heaven” (Mt 7: 21)
This Gospel passage is the conclusion of the spectacular Sermon on the Mount which began from Chapter 5 of the Gospel of St Matthew.
This great discourse and the brilliant exposition of the Christian teaching is concluded with two fundamental exhortations by Christ:
- Be a doer of the Word, not just a listener
- Have a strong foundation built on Him, rather than on the world!
Christianity, for some, becomes a soothing philosophy and a relaxing religion.
The Mercy of the Lord… the Love of the Father… the Providence of God – they become easy escape routes to avoid duties and responsibilities (although, these terms, when rightly understood, are the key facets of true understanding of the Lord – which also entails important duties on us!)
The pious practices…the devout rituals… the spiritual exercises – they sometimes get reduced to mere ‘relaxing’ techniques or ‘lifeless’ customs
It gets easy to merely say ‘Lord, Lord’ – but to live a life in witness to the Lord becomes a pain in the neck
It feels good to say, “Jesus, Jesus” – but to orient our actions and deeds, worthy of our vocation becomes a hard reality.
But this is the challenge that the Lord invites us to rise up to…
Being a person who seriously lives ones profession of faith and makes life a truly witnessing one!
Being a person who consciously makes efforts to be holy and saintly in order to give glory to the salvific act of the Lord, who shed His blood for us!
Towards this end, Jesus says that we need to have our faith and life built on the strong foundation of the Lord Himself!
To all who place their entire hope on worldly treasures or self-capabilities – like the house build on sand – are sure to collapse!
To all who build their entire trust on Jesus and His grace and goodness – like the house built on rock – are sure to remain firm!
Being a Christian is an exciting adventure.
There is lot of contentment… loads of peace… bundles of joy!
But there is also the danger of being snared by the pleasures or riches or temptations in the world, which is constantly enticing us to move away from the Lord and identify ourselves with the world.
The Second Book of the Kings recounts how the Temple at Jerusalem was besieged by the Babylonians…
… an aftermath of the unfaithfulness of Israel to the ways of the Lord
… an effect of Israel moving away from the laws of God Yahweh!
St Peter says, “Your enemy, the Devil, is prowling round, like a roaring lion, looking for someone to eat. Stand up to him, strong in faith…” (1 Pt 5: 8-9)
Jesus says, “They do not belong to the world anymore…” (Jn 17: 16)
Let us examine our Christian lives and check…
Am I a “committed and convinced” Christian?
Or am I a “chameleon” Christian?
God Bless! Live Jesus!
Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Sometimes we so much occupy ourselves
with trying to live like angels…