Did I lie?

“Do you think they can tell I’m not Catholic?” my 12-year-old grandson asked his mother as he looked around at the large crowd who were attending a recent Confirmation ceremony at Corpus Christi Parish.

After being reassured, he noticed the attire of a few young teens. “You can tell some of these are not Christian. They’ve got hoodies on,” he said. I didn’t comment, but wondered if my sensitive grandson believed that if the lads were Christian they would show respect by being dressed appropriately for a religious ceremony. He and his three younger siblings were dressed in their “Sunday best” even though none of them had put a foot inside a church for many years and had never been baptised.

He was still looking concerned, so I tried to reassure him. “Don’t worry, sweetheart. You’re part of a strong Catholic extended family, your mummy is Catholic and even your daddy believes in Jesus. His Muslim faith teaches that while Jesus is not the divine son of God, he is a prophet.”

He nodded at this and then we moved from the large foyer into the church, where my youngest daughter was a Confirmation sponsor for her niece.

Later that night, reflecting on my conversation with my grandson, it dawned on me that to be classified Christian, one needs to be baptised into Christ. When he was a little baby, I made the sign of the cross on him and prayed for him, so I believe he is as Christian as me, particularly as when he was younger, he drew hundreds of pictures of Jesus nailed to the cross! I also reflected on his mother’s previous laughing comment to me: “The Church will probably fall down when I enter”. I’m not really good with fast comebacks and it wasn’t until later I thought I should have replied that Jesus would have been feeling great joy to see her and her family attend and would have been heaping blessings on them!

This was an evening of unity for our family where Catholic and Muslim worshipped together. As a mother and grandmother, it was a beautiful experience to be with my family that night!