Acknowledging Jesus before others incorporates not only the words we speak, but also our actions. The empirical evidence convicting us as Christian should be apparent in every aspect of our lives. The person we portray in the office should be the same we bring home at night, and clearly recognizable as we person who arrives at Sunday Mass. Jesus identifies Nathanael as a person with no duplicity, no guile, no deceit within him. Nathanael, in return, recognizes Jesus as Rabbi, the Son of God! He does not look around first to see who might hear him acknowledge Christ; he is true to himself and, more importantly, his convictions.
Do we deny Jesus when we are uncomfortable, perhaps holding back who we are, particularly with family, friends, or co-workers? Does the warning Jesus speaks in Matthew’s Gospel, “Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father. But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father,” hold no significance upon our actions? Are we willing to take the chance these words came with conditions: Acknowledge me only if it is convenient or easy? Are we worried more about the repercussions of our behavior with man over God?
The prayer after Communion includes the words, “constant devotion,” and St. Paul speaks in Thessalonians about “praying without ceasing.” A life with Christ is one of continued worship. Every moment of our lives offered in devotion to one who knows the number of hairs on your head and counts your worth invaluable. Our Father, with the most intimate knowledge of your life, is aware of those moments when we fail to glorify him, yet in his mercy, he never ceases to offer protection from the one who can destroy both body and soul.
Examine your life this week, every single aspect. Pray for the grace and strength to fulfill the teaching in this Gospel. Count the ways you acknowledge Jesus with your life, repent for where you do not, and seek every day to live bravely as a follower of Christ.
Jesus, I know without counting,
the times I have denied you
outnumber the times I confessed you
as my Lord and Savior.
I come as a beggar for the grace
to remain faithful always to
my Baptismal promises.
Strengthened by the words of the Gospel
and your unfailing love,
I will strive each day to live my faith out loud.