"Are you a Christian?"

By Paul Dion, STL

Acts 7:55-60: As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,"Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them;"and when he said this, he fell asleep.

We invite you all to read Chapters 6 and 7 of the Acts of the Apostles, the story of St. Stephen. the first disciple who was martyred for the sake of the Way. The introductory quote above is the "punch line" of these chapters and you are going to hear them read as you participate in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass on Sunday, May 20.

Over the last 6 weeks we have been reading the story of the early history of the Church all of which takes place after the Resurrection. This means that Jesus has hit the ball into our court. It is up to us to hit it back, true and hard.

Stephen was not afraid to proclaim his faith before the officials who dragged him into court. He spoke to them truthfully and forcefully, from the bottom of his heart. Notice that he took a page out of the Lord's playbook. He recited the story of the formation of the Chosen People and their mistreatment of the prophets as recorded in the Bible that they knew. Jesus had done the same thing when He was tempted in the desert. Remember the story?

These days you have perhaps noticed that more and more public figures are publicly declaring their Catholic Faith. Many of them even have pithy comments ready for every occasion. As you know, Jesus told us that we would have to answer for our faith sooner or later. He also told us not to worry about what to say because the Spirit would supply the strength and the words. (Luke's Gospel, Chapter 12, verses 10 to 12)

The Burning Question is:
Do you easily and willingly testify to your faith? Do you shy away from admitting that you are Catholic? When you are asked, "Are you a Christian," what do you answer?

Tell us what you think. Post a comment today and to read what others are saying.


  1. I always answer yes, and then follow on with my own . . . usually, "Why do you ask?" Their answer with often give me opportunity to share "the reason for the hope that is within" me (See 1 Peter 3:15).

    Rich Maffeo

  2. "Yes, A Roman Catholic Christian"

  3. Anonymous9:57 AM

    When I was in college we had some one from rhe Unification church (Rev. Moon ?) who, during his discourse claimed to be a Christian. It was a Religious Studies Dept. colloquium and we were required by the professor to attend and participate. When called upon, I said that my understanding was that to be a Christian one must believe that Jesus Christ is the Living Son of the Living God and that to atone for the sins of humankind He suffered and died on the Cross, that He rose again and, sitting at the right hand of the Father, is the source of our "means of Grace and Hope of glory". Much later I came across a quote from an interview of Karl Rahner when he was asked, "Are you a Christian?" Rahner rplied, "I hope so." I would feel uneasy going beyond Kael Rahner on this point. So, I will say the by profession, confession and practice to the bestb of my ability, I am a Christian relying on the "sure and certain hope" of God's infinite mercy. I am a practicing Christian (and much in need of practice) who hopes one day to "get it right".