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Sheri Wohlfert discovered that even something as simple as a football jersey can lead to excellent lessons in faith.

This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35) 


Did you ever noticed how many ways we identify and announce who we are, what we like and what we are involved in?  There are yard signs, T-shirts, hats and bumper stickers just to name a few. These things send a message about who we support, who we connect with and who we like best. I’ve been thinking about this for a few days, and it all started at a Detroit Lions game. The kids gave Dave the greatest Christmas gift ever and took the most loyal Lions fan I’ve ever known to his first game.

As we walked down the streets and into Ford Field, I noticed that I was practically the only person there who wasn’t wearing Lions apparel which made me feel a little out of place. In a world that can seem to fuel division, it makes my heart happy to see simple things that can connect us. Everyone in that stadium (except for a few Carolina Panther fans) were united by a common thing and seeing people laugh together, high-five each other and celebrate was a fun thing to soak in. What started out as a Sunday NFL game has turned out to be a couple of great lessons. 

At the game that Sunday, I was interested in the back of the players' jerseys because I wanted to know their names. I found myself wondering who they were; where did they grow up; where did they play college ball? I wondered about the ones who never hit the field or had their name announced. Then it hit me: it didn’t really matter because they all had the same name on the front of their jerseys. 




The morning after the game I came across a quote I put in my prayer journal after listening to a daily Gospel reflection by Jeff Cavins on the Hallow app:

When you truly and humbly play for the name on the front of the jersey, people will remember the name on the back of the jersey.


That was lesson one. 

Lesson two is still unfolding, but it started with this question: whose jersey am I wearing? I suppose we have many jerseys … teams, groups, clubs, companies but which one is most important…which one do we want to be identified with the most? Of all the jerseys I could wear, most of them will cause a little good-hearted riff like the opening game of the NFL season when I wore my KC Chiefs shirt and Dave wore his Detroit Lions shirt. We wore them with pride and loyalty, knowing in the end only one of us would be wearing the “right” one. 

When I think about the quote from Jeff, I realize being a good disciple means I really do have to have one jersey that is way more important than all the others and that jersey can most certainly raise some eyebrows and for some, cause quite a riff but I need to ask myself if I’m a big enough fan to wear it for all to see.

If my jersey bears the name of Jesus on the front, do I play like I’m really on the team—and am I playing for the name on the back or the name on the front? If that jersey is a symbol of my discipleship, how will I feel if I’m the only one wearing it or how would it feel if everyone was wearing it? I’m not sure I’ll be able to look at jerseys quite the same way for a while … I’ll thank Jesus, Jeff Cavins and the Detroit Lions for that. 


Click to tweet:
If my jersey bears the name of Jesus on the front, do I play like I’m really on the team—and am I playing for the name on the back or the name on the front? #CatholicMom


A Seed to Plant: What jerseys do you wear? What would it be like for you to wear the one for HIS team and how would that change things in your life? 

Blessings on your day! 

Copyright 2023 Sheri Wohlfert
Images: Canva