Mt 5:13-16 Be A Hero!
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“You are the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.”
Am I a bored Christian? If so, then my light is hidden under a bushel basket. A bored Christian is equivalent to a selfish Christian, which is equivalent to a Christian whose light is spent.
St. Paul is one of my heroes. The City of Corinth represented the furthest point of expansion of the Church. In the year 146 B.C. it was destroyed by the Romans and re-founded a century later by Julius Cesar. It became a very cosmopolitan city with a very lurid reputation. St. Paul worked there, initially only on the Sabbath. But when funds arrived, he no longer dedicated his time to tent making but rather to full-time evangelization. His work was successful and he shaved his head in obedience to a vow he had made. St. Paul is my hero, but I won’t shave my head just yet.
This morning I woke up and did my normal routine and went for the cereal. I bought this new type of cereal called Flax Plus Granola by Nature’s Path. I think they will be going out of business pretty soon. It tastes horrible, like eating sticks and stones. But what made me really dislike this cereal is what they wrote on the back of it. They ask the question, “What is a Hero?” The company writes, “The dictionary says [which dictionary?] a hero is a person who, in the opinion of others, has heroic qualities or has performed a heroic act and is regarded as a model or ideal.”
First of all, I think we all learned that you should never use the word you’re trying to define in your definition. Secondly, “in the opinion of others?”…does a hero actually care what others think of him? I don’t think that should be important at all. Thirdly, what does heroic qualities actually mean? What are they?
Anyways, they use this definition to congratulate two farmers, organic farmers, who are heroes in their eyes because they don’t use synthetic pesticides; don’t use synthetic herbicides; they use no artificial preservatives or additives; no genetically engineered seeds. And because they use less ground water pollution and improved farm biodiversity. All these things are good things. But is this what defines a hero?
What’s a hero? Here is my definition. A hero is someone who gives himself to others in an extraordinary or uncommon manner without concern for his own person and without concern for personal compensation, but strictly for the Glory of God. That is, they do what is right, good and beautiful.
This is the life of Christ. This is the life of His Apostles. This is the life that we have received. Here are the marching orders from Christ himself: “Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”
To be a hero means to stand up for God, to be orthodox in your faith – to care more about what God thinks of you rather than what others think of you. To be labeled an orthodox Christian means to be labeled by politicians, pundits and polls as an intolerant, right-wing, bigoted Christian. Although they will never admit to it; in the eyes of the world, a welcomed hero is a heretic! For example, does it really take a hero today to ridicule the Catholic Church or to stand by it? Does it take a hero to fight for abortion rights or to stand up for the sanctity of life? Would John the Baptist today be labeled as a herald of God for upholding the sanctity of marriage or would he be heralded as a fascist, medieval crusader of intolerance? Me thinks the later! Fox Sports recently announced that they would not allow an ad to appear during the Super Bowl because it openly promoted adultery. To seem balanced and fair, they decided not to run an ad from a Christian group either. If they only knew that the lack of one promotes the other, and to the detriment of society, family and children. To be a hero does not mean to be fair and balanced, it means to be right!
“The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.” (Ps. 112:4a) Be a hero. Be an Apostle for Christ. Let your light shine. Nothing, absolutely nothing can stop this light from shining. No mountains, no walls, no barriers, not even death. What is death for the Christian, but a welcomed return home; a confirmation of a commission; an honorable discharge; a sign of wonder, of a mission well done.