Boasting in the Lord. St. Paul tells us to do it (1 Cor in thins 1:31). In fact, it's a good thing. Yet he reminds us not to boast in leaders of the world (1 Corinthians 3:21). Ok Paul, I gotcha. Boast in the Lord, my God, my Savior not in flawed sinful men. Yes! I want to. Some days I want to shout with JOY screaming at the top of my lungs sharing all the good things the Lord has done for me. But when does this boasting become just bragging? When does it become "look at me, I'm favored because God has done so much for me"?
This is something with which I struggle a great deal. Some days I am so excited about receiving the Eucharist that morning in Mass, I just want to dance. In fact, (ok I know this is weird but), I do dance "in my head". Walking back from the Communion reception line, here I am in my brain dancing down the aisle singing the only word that ever comes to mind (or maybe the only word that really comes from my heart, who knows), "Yes! Yes! YES! YES! YES!!!". So yes, I WANT to boast in my Lord. I want everyone I meet to get that feeling of pure happiness, that almost uncontainable joy, when receiving our Lord, when participating in the perpetual sacrifice, when taking part in the ONLY moments where Heaven ACTUALLY meets earth.
Have you ever really thought about that? The Mass is the ONLY time in our lives we will be able to experience a bit of Heaven here, in our mortal lifetimes! We know for certain, our gardian angels are there as they come everywhere with us. But have you thought about the fact that there are other angles present as well according to Paul (1 Corinthians 11:10). And what about the saints? We even mention the saints in our Eucharistic prayer. Could it also be possible they are present too? Honoring our Lord at His great table of plenty? Of course it is! And if so, then why AREN'T we flocking to the churches on Sunday, Holy days and every other chance we get? Why AREN'T we boasting in the Lord our God?
Here's what I think. At least for me, it's all about vanity. Curse my stupid pride! I don't want that person to think I believe I'm holier than them. If I say, "Listen to how great God is to me...." I don't want that person I'm speaking with to think of me as a braggart, like the pious Sadducees and the fake Pharisees who thought of themselves above others. No, I would never want someone to think that about me. And so I keep my mouth shut. I choose not to share my great joy in Christ because, heaven forbid (pun intended), someone might think ill of me.
Well no more. The time is NOW. Pride, be gone with you! I happily, loudly, and joyfully boast in Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior, and my great, great love. Today, I shout it from the laptop (not a mountaintop but it will do)! I stand steadfast in my love and joy of my merciful Lord. I will not deny Him and my happiness will NOT be contained!
So next time you see me, I just might be dancing down the aisles at Mass unable to contain this great happiness. And don't stop me outside of church or you just might hear "Hey, guess how good God is to me?". Because from this day forward you cannot STOP me from boasting in the greatness that we call our Lord and our God.
My prayer for you, my friends, is that you too will find the strength, peace and joy of boasting in Jesus too (whether it be through words or deeds).
Blessings to you and yours,