Luke 17: 5-10 Be Not Ashamed
Is there anything more disgusting than a glass of lukewarm water? Yes, there is: a lukewarm Catholic!
“The rash one has no integrity; but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.” (Hab 2:4) A long time ago, someone once told me that if I do not stand up for something, then I will fall for everything! Our life was not meant to be lived as a doormat. No one in Sacred Scripture lived the life of a doormat. Neither Mary, nor any of the Apostles lived a life in which they allowed themselves to be stepped on, trampled upon and kicked all over. A few days ago I commented that the worst thing that could happen to someone was not that they died, but that they died for the wrong reason! The Holy Father, Benedict XVI, prior to leaving England, gave a speech in front of the Prime Minister, the English Parliament, the Queen of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury and distinguished guests representing the various religions around the world, in the same hall in Westminster Abbey where St. Thomas More was found guilty of high treason. Who would have imagined that the Vicar of Christ, the Pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church, would speak to so many former enemies in such a place! And receive applause! Of course there were some who wished to arrest the Pope. Some people never change, but times do change because of those who left their mark by standing up and dying for what was right, good and holy. The rash one has no integrity because he is like a house built on sand, when the tough times hit – when the storms fall upon us – the one with no integrity, no foundation, no faith, will fall apart. Christians in the United Kingdom are standing up and stepping back against discrimination because of their faith whether at school or at work, by stating loud and clear that they are “Not Ashamed” to be Christian. It is amazing what an old man, from another country, representing the most hated but largest Christian denomination in the world, can do in just a few days in a country that claims to be highly secular. This is only the beginning of a revolution in England. The organizers of the campaign wish to “express our confidence that Jesus Christ is good news not just for individuals or for the church, but for our nation as a whole. He is the only true hope of our society.”
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” The only one who could honestly say this, is the Son who gave us his Father. His heart is made of flesh and blood. It is life giving, life saving and life sharing. Only a man of God can give what does not belong to another: His life. Beloved: I remind you, to stir into flame the gift that God gave to you. For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control. Do not be ashamed but bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God. A spirit of power, of love and self-control…a flame burning in your hearts! These words are not of a lukewarm spirit but of a spirit filled with the WORD.
Let us awaken, re-kindle, the love that God has for all mankind with power (energy), love (dedication) and self-control (dignity, honor and valor). I recently went to a middle school volleyball game and cheered on the students of my new school. I was pounding on the bleachers to the surprise of the parents, shouting out and encouraging our kids to play tough. A young team player from the opposing team hit the ball twice towards me. The first time it happened, I thought nothing of it. The second time it happened I gave her a blessing. Everyone laughed! At the end of the game, someone came up to me and told me she was Baptist! I made my presence felt. We beat them in two sets. If we can show such enthusiasm in games, we must do the same for Christ. Do not be ashamed!