Christ’s chalice, not mine

Today, as I was reflecting on the day’s readings, many things are on my mind.  In just a few days, hundreds of women will be gathering for the Behold 2012 Conference: From the Heart of God.  As one of the team working to organize this conference, it can be slightly overwhelming but exhilarating as well.  There are so many details as we work to make this day ultra special and inspiring for those who will be attending.  The conference will be featuring a “Meet the Bloggers” section with many big names in Catholic blogging who are featured speakers and writers.  I was honored when I received an invitation as a “newbie” blogger to join with the veterans to discuss how new media can impact how we reach out to Catholics we normally wouldn’t reach.  I’m a little nervous as I am lucky to know how to post a new entry and don’t know many of the intricacies of blogging yet.  But, I plan to go and gawk ummm, listen to their wisdom and hopefully learn from them.

Then, this morning, I was also talking to someone about the conference and was told that secular as well as religious media sources have been invited to come and talk to Catholic women about our thoughts on the HHS mandate.  I was basically told to dress nicely and be prepared.  Again, I thought, “WOW!”  They want ME to possibly speak out on this???  Am I ready for this?  Do I really know enough to talk to them or wouldn’t someone else be better at it and more eloquent than I would be?

Then, during my reflections, I realized that part of my feelings from these two “invitations” was fear and part was a form of pride that two people actually thought I might have something valuable to add to the conversations.  But, then I remembered today’s Gospel reading: Matthew 20:17-28.  In this section of Matthew, the mother of the sons of Zebedee came and asked for favors for her sons.

Jesus said in reply,
“You do not know what you are asking.
Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?”

Wow!  I know that chalice that He drank from.  It was His death.  Am I ready to put my own life on the line for His sake?  Yes and I think I mean it.  But, sometimes I wonder if I truly have the guts to actually do it?  I pray that I do and know that if I ask God for the grace to be able to do it, I will be fine.  But, the realities of what being a Christian means has, as always, floored me.  Going along on a daily basis in America as a Christian doesn’t usually require much besides avoiding the societal pressures of sex and materialism.  Even lately, with the additional call to stand up for our faith with the HHS mandate, it still doesn’t seem too hard.  Talking to those we know and love or know through work about the HHS mandate isn’t very difficult to do.  It also isn’t difficult to talk about it on Facebook or on a blog.  But, actually standing up to someone who doesn’t think the same as you do or who will probably twist what you do say into something that seems the exact opposite is a much bigger challenge.

… whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant;
whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave.

I am very comfortable not being first and not being great.  In fact, I prefer to not be first and know without a doubt that I’m not great (it is hard to be ‘great’ when you are a sinner).  But, by trusting in God’s grace to provide all that I need in whatever situation I am placed in, I have complete confidence and hope for life.  For He is truly, an awesome God!

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