Hello again everyone,
So as I mentioned in my last post, I am a proud member of the University of Cincinnati Bearcat Bands. This weekend the UC football team will be obliterating the Virginia Tech Hokies at FedEx Stadium in our nation's capital. I will be watching this game in the stands and playing during the pregame and halftime show along with two other members of this post, Kathe and Katie. I am still in denial that I am leaving this Friday to stay in beautiful Washington D.C. and play trumpet in front of millions of people. However, aside from the hype of the football game, this weekend also has some spiritual meaning to it as well.
About 2 or 3 years ago, my family and I traveled to Washington D.C. on a spring break trip. We did all the touristy things that all families and school groups do in D.C. We saw all the monuments and went in all the museums. However, the most vivid memory that I have of the trip was not the amazing displays of our nation's history, it was not even the national cathedral (even though that was pretty cool), it was Sunday morning mass that my family attended. The church was like any other church, it was simple, yet quaint. However, once in side, I realized that it was anything but simple. I saw people from many different cultures in the pews. We started talking to the people sitting next to us, and we found out that the congregation directly around us was from places such as Vietnam, the Phillipines, and various areas of Africa. It almost brought tears to my eyes to see all these different people from all over the world gathering to celebrate mass.
Now for a little lesson on theology. The word Catholic comes from the Greek word Katholikos, which originally meant universal. In the early days of the Church, many people started referring to the people who followed the ways of Christ as Catholic because they could be found everywhere in the Roman Empire. Romans thought everyone must be Catholic. However, today the word Catholic means much more, it is understood as a word that describes the Church as a place where no one is excluded because nationality, race, economic or social status.
After mass had concluded, I realize how Catholicism is really universal. There are people all over the word that are Catholic, and the Church accepts all of them, even though they might be different.
So as I begin packing for the 8 hour journey to D.C., I have a challenge for everyone, including myself: Try to go out of your way to help someone out who you would normally ignore because they are different than you. I will admit that many times I will see someone that is homeless or of a different culture, and ignore them. Then I think, is that what Jesus would do? Catholic might describe the Church or your faith, but does it describe you?