I once overhead a couple who were disgruntled over the temperature of their recently served soup call the waiter over in exasperation. "This soup is tepid," exclaimed one of the diners. "Why thank you," replied the waiter. This unleashed an angry vocabulary lesson on the hapless young waiter even worse than the cold soup.
Tepid, lukewarm disciples are the kind Jesus has said he will spit out. Many famous writers and philosophers have named the greatest sin of their age "indifference." It discerns neither good nor evil. In fact, we have seen how often it either permits or even commits evil by simply encouraging people to go along.
Jesus isn't intent on fist fights breaking out at the dinner table or in the church parking lot, but he is intent on lighting the world with his truth and his love. The gospel should inflame us with passion. How would you like for someone to describe your faith like the complaining soup customers, as tepid? Wouldn't passionate, faithful, dedicated Catholic be better.
Passion motivates behavior. How many times at funerals do we learn that someone's passion was a hobby or a seashore location or their boat? Some of our most important passions should be fueled by a love of Christ. A mass I attend without fail, that I honor God in speech without fail, that I pray without fail, that I support charities in the name of Christ without fail.
Let us heed the words of Christ and not be tepid, let's burn!