Be careful how you live.
You may be the only Bible some person ever reads.
William J Toms.
To be a true evangelizer, a true missionary, is to have the Gospel written into every aspect of our lives.
Every part of us must bear the hallmarks of Christ Himself, from the way we speak, to the way we present ourselves, to the way we reach out and try to help others, to the way we pray.
We are apostles bringing the Good News to a very critical audience - one that may swallow all the false promises of the evil one on a daily basis, but will spot a false Christ from a mile off.
Pro-life Catholics are often lumped together in that group of people known to the world as religious bigots and judgmental Christians - those people who are accused of hiding behind a glass wall from where they regularly cast stones at unbelievers, and particularly at abortion advocates by declaring that their ‘choice’ to terminate a child’s life is in fact murder.
But we would be lying to ourselves if we think that we are people no longer in need of saving: that we cannot sin and even sin greatly.
To be authentic Children of God, we also have to be prepared to let unbelievers read the misery of sin that is written into our lives. We have to admit that we didn’t receive the grace of conversion only at some distant point in the past, but that we receive it daily because we fall into sin daily.
To be honest, I have to say that there is one story in Jesus’ ministry to which I can particularly relate, and which is written into my life. This is one of the stories I would prefer than no-one ever reads.
I can see myself, and have seen myself many times, as the woman caught in adultery. At least, that’s how my sin makes me feel.
We are familiar with representations of that famous scene in works of art:
The disheveled woman has been brought straight from her adulterous bed by the Pharisees.
She stands in front of Jesus, with her head down.
She is probably naked, and she grabs at the sheet wrapped around her to hide her shame.
Jesus reads the heart of each accuser who then leaves, overwhelmed at that moment by the reality of his own sins.
The woman is left standing face to face with her Master, her Lord, her Spouse, whom she has greatly offended.
In own our lives, that nakedness is our shame at our own sinfulness, and the sheet is our feeble attempt to regain our dignity by clutching at the excuses, the circumstances, the lies we tell ourselves to lessen the seriousness of our sins.
But Jesus sees through all of that.
Because as well as being our Spouse and Master, He is also God, our Creator, whose Spirit penetrates into our souls to read the story that is written there.
We cannot hide a single sin from Him.
We cannot regain our own dignity.
It proceeds from God, and if we tarnish that dignity through sin, only He can restore it through the Sacrament of Penance.
“Tell others of My Mercy”, said Jesus to Sr. Faustina.
“My Mercy is my most wonderful attribute.”
The Gospel as represented by our lives must have the reality of God’s Mercy written as the most accessible, the most easily-read story that another person can read.
That person - that woman on her way to abort her baby, that satanically-frenzied abortion advocate, or that arrogant pro-choice politician, is desperately in need of the message of God’s unfathomable mercy.
Among the Gospel stories imprinted on our lives, there will be parables and miracles, Eucharists, Transfigurations and Crucifixions.
There will be stories of pride, unfaithfulness, sorrow and healing.
The people we meet must be able to read all of those stories.
As fallen and redeemed sinners, we must be willing to say,
“Read me, I’m the Gospel.
My story is the Gospel of Life.”
Unfathomable Divine Mercy, envelop the whole world and empty Yourself out upon us.