Have you ever eaten crabs? Depending on the species, some are colorful, some are muddy, some are huge, some are small and some are like spiders. But have you ever wondered what they do and where they live in the sea? Well, most of the time you can find them on sea beds scavenging for food. They are always at the bottom, hidden underneath sand or mud, looking out for prey and hiding from predators. It makes me wonder how they can see when it’s so dark!
But crabs have an interesting way about them. When placed in an open bucket, fishermen need not tie them up or cover the bucket. In fact, if you take time to watch them, you can see one of the crabs, climbing on top of another, trying to get out of the bucket. And lo and behold when it finally reaches the top and the edge of the bucket, the crab below it pulls it right back down. Fascinating isn’t it?
Our Lord created the world and all these wonderful creatures!! If we take time to reflect, we can see that our Lord speaks to us even through them.
Every now and then, I would encourage my parents to go to weekday mass or to spend some time with me in adoration of the Eucharist. And every now and then, I get a nonchalant response “It’s not necessary to go to Church, you can just pray at home.”
Sometimes when I invite my cousins for mass, or when I tell my parents to encourage my sister to go to mass, my mom would reply saying it is her choice. It is their choice, and that I should not impose my beliefs on them.
And yet when scandals of the Church arise, or when a mistake is made by an altar boy or by someone serving in a ministry in the parish, their faults are often pointed out and often exaggerated.
But is it really their choice? Are we imposing upon a person if we encourage them to frequent mass? Are we trying to ‘convert them’ if we speak about lives of the Saints, or about virtues, or about what we liked about the homily on Sunday?
In the reading of Jesus healing the paralytic, the poor man was unable to go to Jesus. And his friends had to help him by literally bringing him to meet Jesus. Do you know how heavy it is to carry a full grown man? And how long it must take to open— I mean destroy— the roof of someone’s house? The man must have had really good friends.
My dear friends, we too can ask ourselves if we have been good Christian witnesses to our friends, siblings and family.
Have you been a scandal to the Church in the way you dress? Have you suggested activities that would put God’s supernatural life in you (or in your friends) at risk? Have you influenced your friends to listen to music that promotes rebelliousness and promiscuity? Or, under the pretense of fashion and trend, influence your friends to dress immodestly or drink alcohol to have a good time?
Like the crabs, have you pulled someone down and discouraged someone who was trying to speak about things that are good? Like crabs, do you look for opportunities to discourage someone from living a life with Christ? Speaking more about appearances rather than about virtues, about responsibility, about helping the poor, about being more charitable, about making good use of what God gives us (clothes, time, food, money) and giving to those who need it?
Do YOU have a crab mentality?
A good Christian is given the responsibility to encourage people to be closer to Christ. To elevate our thoughts, our hearts to that of the supernatural, to that of God.
How often do you encourage this? How often do you bring up? Or do you, like the crabs, choose to remain comfortable in the darkness of sin, waiting to pull down those who are yearning to reach the light?