I experienced one of those “holy shit” moments the other day.
You know the type of experience you get from something you see, hear or read and you just have to say to yourself out of earshot of everybody something like: “holy shitoli!”
I had seen a young woman pass by as I was walking a few of my daily 10,000 steps when I asked her if she was going to work. She replied yes and I followed up with “Where do you work?”
The 20-something dark-haired lass said she worked at St. Matthew’s Day Care Center which was a block away from where we saw one another in Conshohocken, PA. The church provides services for people who need child care so that they can go to work.
“Are You Catholic?” I asked her out of curiosity.
“No, I’m Christian.” she replied.
That is when my jaw dropped and my world tilted a little bit.
The young lady seemed to say it with such anuthority and innocence that I was speechless for a moment. Then some arcane knowledge inside of my kicked in. It was the fact that Jesus was never a Christian. He was a Jew who was put to death by the Roman government which decided to place a written sign above the cross where he hung.
The sign displayed the Greek word “Christ.” or “Christos” which means “anointed one.” In the Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called the Septuagint, Christos was used to translate the Hebrew word of Masiah or massiah, meaning “one who is annointed.”
Catholics are Christians. My first grade teacher – a nun – drilled that into me at the ripe old age of five. I don’t think any teacher in any school in our world ever taught that Catholics were not Christians.
Then I had dark thoughts about Catholics being treated as “Others.” You know, people like the Irish, the Italians, the Poles – any group that was unlike the British. Catholics were lumped in with blacks and Jews and targeted by the Ku Klux Klan. Did the Klan believe that Catholics were not Christians? I really don’t know.
The young girl did not come up with her knowledge of what Christians were or were not. It saddens me to think that it was passed onto her by her family.
No matter what the denominations, everyone who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ are Christians. I married a woman who was raised Episcopalian in a Presbyterian Church by a Methodist minister (who was my wife’s sister) and my older nrother – a Catholic – as best man.
There are no distinctions.
Now let me end this diatribe with a rousing “AMEN!”