This is a syndicated post from Daily Meditations with Fr. Alfonse. [Read the original article...]
Fourteenth Week in Ordinary Time
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Jesus said to his Apostles: “What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light; what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna.”
Throw Him out there. Speak up about your faith. Speak out about your faith. Share your faith in God with others. Why? Because others need to hear it. Allow people to challenge you. Allow them to throw their opinions at you. There’s nothing to be concerned about, as long as everyone is truly friendly and would never try to damage your name. Give and take from one another. The rewards are greater than the risks.
“If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of God rests upon you” (1Pt 4:14).
Why is it so hard to proclaim the name of Christ? And when I say the “name of Christ,” I do not refer to just his “name.” I refer to His reputation, His Church, His teachings, His words and actions, His life and His lifestyle. Understand? And when I say “proclaim” I do not simply means “speaking” but practicing. Understand?
So why is this so hard for Christians to do?
Firstly, our message does not fair well in a 15 second spot advertisement. We are not here to criticize but to evangelize. Secondly, it doesn’t fit in well with our contemporary view of people and things, which can be summed up in the following way: “Let me do whatever I feel like doing” or “Let me be who I want to be.” Ours if a message of conversion, not regression.
Today’s modern emphasis is on the individual – individual rights and freedoms - and not on gathering individuals together and creating a culture based on common vision, values and institutions based on a standard that is above us, not at our waist or below it.
Doing whatever one feels like doing takes no effort whatsoever. Doing what I know I must do takes a lot of effort. The first is not at all challenging. The later is quite challenging, for it goes against our fallen human nature. This is precisely what makes Christ’s message so hard to communicate and to assimilate. It goes entirely against our settled-ness, stubbornness and sinfulness.
Think of it like this: It’s easier to live than to live well. No wonder why Aristotle insisted that “Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”
“To do whatever you feel like doing” or “To be who you want to be” is a far cry from living well; and to encourage it or allow it to happen without putting up a fight is a shame; actually, a sin.
Christ challenged the world He lived in. He challenged those who lived in it. For us to not be a voice crying out in the wilderness or to not step up to the plate and say, like Isaiah, “Here I am, Lord. Send me!” would be like a King abdicating his solemn throne and leaving it to the dogs, not gods. It would be a humiliating reversal of fortunes and roles.
“I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” “Here I am,” I said; “send me!” (Is 6:8).
It’s true: I am a man of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts! (cf. Is 6:5).
Here’s a great article that hits the spot on both sides. (40)
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