“Avoiding the ‘chameleon character’; instead, adopting and growing in our ‘Christian conviction!’”
(Based on Acts 20:28-38 and Jn 17:11b-19 – Wednesday of the 7th Week of Easter)
A zoologist, working in a Catholic University, was interacting with a group of youngsters.
As they were discussing about living as a Christian in the world the zoologist – himself a Christian – noted: “There are many of us Christians who live like chameleons!”
(Chameleons are a species of lizards – known for their distinct range of colours, as they are able to shift in different hues and brightness, depending on the surrounding)
The professor went on to say:
“The chameleon takes the colour of its background and environment—tree, bush, or grass.
Many Christians are chameleon-like in the facility with which they can take on the colour of the world about them”
And he added, “And… just as it is difficult to distinguish the chameleon from the background, the colour of which he has taken…
… so it is very difficult to distinguish many Christians from the background of the world in which they live!”
Are we living ‘chameleon-like Christian lives’…
… changing our colours and choices in life, to suit the corrupt ways around us, rather than being faithful to Christian teachings?
The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus praying to the Father: “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them safe from the evil one.
They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Jn 17: 16)
The call of a Christian is to live as a people “set apart” for Christ.
The Lord wishes, desires, wants and makes it a must that the one who follows Him, must seek to follow Him fully, wholeheartedly and unreservedly.
But the Lord was also very much aware that this His desire for a people “totally set apart” would face a lot of challenges and crisis from the Evil One.
He knew that His followers would struggle much in living a pure life…
… in the midst of many impurity, uncleanness and contamination.
He knew that His followers would find it hard to preserve holiness…
… in the hub of wicked temptations, ensnaring enticements and luring persuasions
St Paul warns the Church at Ephesus to be aware of the many dangers that may allure them in the world…
… and to remain focussed and alert
“Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you guardians, to feed the church of the Lord which He obtained with His own Blood.
I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things…
… to draw away the disciples after them.
Therefore, be alert…” (Acts 20:28-31)
We often find ourselves lost in this strange maze of the world….
We immerse ourselves too much in worldly activities and works….
… But, somehow at the end of the day, when lying down on our beds, we, perhaps, feel ourselves lost and not having a true sense of satisfaction!
We plunge ourselves to enjoy a lot of worldly pleasures, comforts and luxuries…
… But, somehow, after having been sort of saturated with those externals, we, perhaps, find ourselves still unhappy or experiencing a void!
We engage ourselves in an excess use of the social media, networking sites, chatting applications and remain attached constantly to modern communication gadgets…
… But, somehow, though we are in contact with many people, we, perhaps, realize that there is a grave presence of loneliness and not having genuine relationships of love and true care!
And therefore, Jesus, the ever-practical, sensible and realistic Master…
… Firstly, prays for His followers for strength and courage: “I pray for them…. Holy Father, keep them in Your name… “ (Jn 17: 9a, 11b)
… Secondly, reminds His followers on the need to set their hearts on Him because they belong not to the world: “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (Jn 17: 16)
This then ought to be our strength and hope, as we seek to live a Holy Christian Life in this world, often corrupted by sin and transgressions…
Knowing that Jesus has prayed for us!
In His prayer, we can find hope and blessings
In His prayer, we can find encouragement and support
Setting our heart entirely on the Lord and not being totally attached to the aspects of the world
In His Love, we find meaning in our relationships
In His Presence, we ought to engage all our activities
Light passes through pollution, but doesn’t get contaminated!
Every Christian, a reflection of the Light of Christ, ought to be such…
… focused on the Lord, seeking to be pure and unsullied, in holiness and sanctity.
Let us avoid the ‘chameleon character” by compromising to suit the pleasures of the world…
… instead, let us adopt and grow in our “Christian conviction!”
God Bless! Live Jesus!
📖 Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism
THE CELEBRATION OF THE CHRISTIAN MYSTERY – THE SACRAMENT OF MATRIMONY – MATRIMONIAL CONSENT
For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage…
… that the marriage never existed.
In this case, the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged. (CCC # 1629)