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It's a Layer Under There


I had an interesting opportunity to work on some website development with a few friends of mine, and I have to tell you, I found the whole process to be quite revealing.


Not only was the entire enterprise yet another example of how little I know, which to be quite honest is always kind of exciting, but it showed me more about that topic which I have come to learn a lot about: evangelization. Allow me to point out an example.


I was asked to move an image into a section that is commonly referred to as the header. But try as I might, the text, the very words that my friends wanted to remain on the top of the images, kept disappearing.


So, I put more text … and then some more, finding each time that what I wrote would very quickly be deleted even though I had no intention of doing so.


Noticing my frustration with the little task and probably hearing my sighing and the quiet mumbling under my breath, my friend stepped in to assess my situation.


“Uhhh, why do you keep doing the same thing over and over again?” he asked.

“Because it’s no longer there,” I responded.

“Oh, the words are there, it’s just a layer buried underneath.”


He was right of course.


I had assumed that because I could no longer see the text it meant it was no longer present, but I was obviously wrong.


And this was my ‘aha’ moment.

These are the layers underneath, and in spite of our difficulties with bringing that memory to the forefront and discarding the current—and possibly very unhelpful mask of the other—there is no need to believe that we need to start from scratch.

Now, you and I have known for a long time that people wear different masks. We put on different personas depending on the company we keep, the situation we find ourselves in, and so on. And perhaps most interestingly, switching between these masks takes place sometimes on a conscious level and sometimes not.


But what we often forget is that sometimes the mask we choose is not actually based on what is happening at the moment or who is standing right in front of us, but instead on something from the past.


Why is that important?


It’s important because as we set about to bring the Good News to our parishes and the individuals in our lives, we tend to base our decisions on what we see right in front of us. And for the most part, this is a wise decision.


We cannot forget, however, that seeds of faith may have been sewn in this individual before. Perhaps there is the grace of Baptism, a knowledge no matter how fleeting of the scriptures, an encounter with grace-filled persons and so on.


And in the case of our parishes, there is a whole history, a life, a past filled with faith that brought this community from those moments to the current one.


These are the layers underneath, and in spite of our difficulties with bringing that memory to the forefront and discarding the current—and possibly very unhelpful mask of the other—there is no need to believe that we need to start from scratch.


Faith is present. We just need to help them uncover it.




in Christ,


patrick

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