I was surprised to find reviews of my local church on Tripadvisor one day. The reviews read a lot like others for must-see tourist sites, but they also reiterated a truth: People won’t remember what you said, but they will remember how you made them feel.When we have true joy in Christ, we can heed the Baptist’s call and more genuinely give to the one who has none and treat one another with kindness. Click To Tweet
Most of the reviewers admitted they weren’t Catholic or even religious. But in review after review, those who interacted with a docent or were there during Mass found the community to be genuinely welcoming and warm. Several of the reviewers were quite moved at how many homeless people were there because the church had a busy walk-up window where people in need could receive food, medical attention, and assistance. In many ways, this church was announcing the gospel of the Lord without even saying a word.
Today we proclaim, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!” (Phil 4:4). On this Gaudete Sunday when we focus on rejoicing, perhaps the more important point is the next line: “Your kindness should be known to all.” When we have true joy in Christ, we can heed the Baptist’s call and more genuinely give to the one who has none and treat one another with kindness. In turn, our actions become the witness of our joy and make us recognizable, even to visitors, as true followers of Christ.