Wednesday of the Ninth Week in Ordinary Time, June 3
More Than Ever Before, Our Lord Needs Us to Be Instruments of His Love and His Truth for Those Who Have No Voice and for a World Which Has Sadly Lost Its Way.
We hear Paul giving instruction to Timothy in our First Reading today, “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord.” – words of sound advice for all who focus our minds and hearts upon the life and teachings of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Many years ago, my late wife and I were acquaintances of a young couple who openly professed their lack of faith in anything beyond what they could physically see or experience. What’s more, the husband would proudly admit, albeit arrogantly at times, that he was an atheist, and believed in only himself and the world which directly affected himself and the life of his family.
He would scoff at the idea of any afterlife, for he believed that once you were dead, that’s the end of it! He would use some rather crude expressions to express his feelings, and, due to certain sensibilities, I will not repeat them here.
Both of our Readings today reminded me of him. In our First Reading, Timothy is being advised not to be reluctant in proclaiming his beliefs in Christ, for Paul writes, “…do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord.”
One thing this young acquaintance of mine was not shy about was professing his atheistic ideas, no matter who they affected or what discussion or arguments they might provoke!
In our Gospel today, our Lord is addressing the issue of eternal life, about which the Sadducees, who were members of the powerful priestly class during the time of Christ, did not believe. Again, the thinking of this self-proclaimed atheist was akin to that of the Sadducees, which, from our way of thinking, would be a very sad epitaph for his tombstone.
I could see the inscription now, “Here lies ‘so-and-so’, proud to be called atheist, but who lost his way in life because his heart was obstinately closed to the Truth.”
After my wife had passed away many years ago, I lost touch with this couple. However, if I can say anything positive about the husband, it was the fact that he was not afraid to express his personal beliefs. And this is what Paul is saying not only to Timothy, but also to each one of us today.
In other words, do NOT be ashamed to stand up and be called a Christian, for that is who we are! Do NOT be ashamed to stand up for what we believe! – but always tempering our professions of faith with charity and love for the other person. For we believe in a faith which professes love and mercy and compassion. We believe in a God who loves us so much, that He gave up His only Son to death on a Cross so that we might have eternal life.
In a society which has become morally bankrupt, wherein the culture of death, those who advocate pro-choice, continues to spew its poisonous venom around the world, affecting even developing nations and the poorest of the poor, the culture of life must continue to fight the battle for those who have no voice, for those who are the most vulnerable and innocent!
In a culture which is becoming more and more anti-traditional family, wherein the meaning of marriage is being re-written by legitimizing and promoting same-sex relationships, disregarding the Natural Law established by God and written down for us in the Books of the Old Testament, it becomes imperative that we, as faithful Christians, give witness to sound and decent Christian family values, becoming the extension of God’s voice in a moral climate which has become both deaf and blind and has lost its moral compass.
All of this brings to mind a quote attributed to Edmund Burke, a British statesman who was a Colonial sympathizer during the time of the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century – “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
And this statement still rings true today when we see a society which has basically caved in to the unholy influences from Satan himself, who is the prince of this world and is making his presence felt by perverting the hearts and minds of many of God’s children!
And we sadly see this today in the many riots and acts of violence in so many cities across the United States of America.
Sometimes, the only weapon we have in giving witness to the Truth becomes the strongest weapon of all – PRAYER, especially sincere prayer from the depths of one’s heart. The late Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was once quoted as saying, “Prayer is helplessness casting itself on Power, infirmity leaning on Strength, misery reaching to Mercy, and a prisoner clamoring for Relief.”
And is it not God’s Mercy for which we seek in prayer? Is it not relief from the anxieties and concerns in life for which we yearn when we reach out to God, seeking His compassionate Love?
In May 2008, Pope Emeritus Benedict was quoted by Catholic News Agency as saying that all families “represent the original cell of society” and it “must not be destroyed but courageously and patiently defended.” He went on to say that this must be done because the family is where “we are formed to adore and love God, learning the grammar of human and moral values, and discovering how to make good use of freedom in truth.”
Is it easy to be openly Christian in today’s world? No, and it wasn’t any easier in the days for the early Christians either. But Paul reminds us with words of encouragement in today’s First Reading, “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.”
More than ever before, our Lord needs us to be instruments of His Love and His Truth in this world. We are to be the extensions of His Heart and His voice for those who have no voice and for a world which has sadly lost its way.
How we stand up for our faith, and how we reach out to protect those who are victimized by a society which is basically anti-Christian in its philosophy, may sometimes entail criticism, even persecution, or being made the brunt of jokes by those who either do not understand or do not accept our Christian belief system.
Let us again listen to the words of our First Reading and take them to heart, “So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord…but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God…for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.”
And “that day” for each of us is the day when we shall truly face our Lord for the first time. And it is my sincerest hope, and I pray yours as well, that we shall hear Him say to us, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”
Living our faith, professing what we believe, and selflessly loving others is truly at the heart of who we are as a Christian people! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord.” (2 Timothy 1:7-8a)
- “Jesus said to them, ‘Are you not misled because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God? … He is not God of the dead but of the living.’” (Mark 12:24, 27a)
- “Come and hear, all you who fear God, while I recount what has been done for me. I called to him with my mouth; praise was upon my tongue. Had I cherished evil in my heart, the Lord would not have heard. But God did hear and listened to my voice in prayer. Blessed be God, who did not reject my prayer and refuse his mercy.” (Psalm 66:16-20)
- “Then [Jesus] told them a parable about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary.” (Luke 18:1)
- “Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
- “So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord…but bear your share of hardship for the Gospel with the strength that comes from God…for I know him in whom I have believed and am confident that he is able to guard what has been entrusted to me until that day.” (2 Timothy 1:8a, 8c, 12c)
- “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
- “Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
- “Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34bc)
Prayer for the Day
“O Lord God, my Father, my Savior and my dearest Friend,
I pray for the grace and the strength
to remain faithful to Your teachings
and to the Sacramental life of the Church.
“Help me to persevere in the commitments
and promises I have made to You.
Give me the fortitude to live up to the vocation
I received during my Baptism as Your faithful child.
“Help me to place love and service to You
before all else in my life,
remaining true to Your Truth,
not abandoning myself to the lies and deceits of Satan.
“Grant me the grace to be a holy example for others,Anonymous
never abandoning Your laws for my own sake.
May I be a true model of faithfulness and selfless love,
giving You honor and glory both now and forever. Amen.”