In the First Letter of St. John, he writes, “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” There is the old saying that “actions speak louder than words,” and another saying that “you’re actions are speaking so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
As Christians, we must recognize that while we certainly must preach the Gospel with our words, we are also preaching with our actions. Does the way you treat others tell them about who God is? Or do you treat others in a way that contradicts the Gospel message?
She told Cale, “I was brought by my friend Anne back into God’s loving embrace. I’ll tell you, a lot of times I think I don’t deserve it. But she said that people have done a lot worse and they’ve been forgiven.”
Bethany explained that she was raised Christian, but an experience with her catechism teacher sent the message that she didn’t have a place in the Body of Christ.
She recalled, “My brother and I went to a Lutheran church, as my mom baptized us Lutheran. We were in catechism at the same time, and my brother was A-student perfect, but I was very questioning and very rebellious. And I ended up getting tossed out of the class. It was a pivotal moment in my life, I’ll tell you that.”
Explaining why she was kicked out of her catechism class, Bethany said, “I was told ‘You have to have blind faith, Bethany.’ And I said that my dad told me that if a bunch of my friends were jumping off a cliff I shouldn’t just follow them without asking questions!”
Cale marveled at the fact that this teacher discouraged Bethany from asking questions. He said, “It’s a great tragedy, that you were asking questions and were told to leave. Those are the kinds of students you want! People who are curious, asking those deep questions. That’s the kind of student I would want in a catechism class, for sure. I’m sorry that happened to you.”
Cale then asked Bethany what it was that brought her back to God, and she explained that it was through the actions of another Christian, who showed her the love and mercy of Christ when she was most in need.
She said, “I was starving. Literally starving, I only had a few things in the fridge. And I reached out on Facebook to a lady at a church in the biggest town closest to me. And she drove 30 miles to bring me a couple boxes of food. She didn’t even know me, and I just thought, ‘How gracious. But why? Why would she do something like that?’ But she invited me to her church and that was it. Long story short, I’ve been going ever since.”
Some Catholics think they are not eloquent enough to share the Gospel, but don’t realize how much their actions can preach. And some speak the Gospel with their words, but don’t realize how much their actions undermine their witness. Cale pointed out that Bethany’s story shows how important it is that we love in deed and truth. That we share the Gospel with our words and our actions.
Cale added, “If you’re listening out there today, you might think you’re not the most eloquent person. But there is a lot that you can do. Our actions speak so loudly. Never discount the impact you can have on someone else. Just as Philip brought Nathanael to Jesus, we can bring others to Jesus with our words and deeds. We’ve got to do both as best we can.”