APOLOGIES TO REGULARS FOR THE GAP OF A WEEK WHILE I WAS ON HOLIDAY IN THE LAKE DISTRICT.
This blog follows the daily bible readings of the Catholic Church
Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim
when it is in your power to do it for him.
Say not to your neighbor, “Go, and come again,
tomorrow I will give,” when you can give at once.
Plot no evil against your neighbor,
against one who lives at peace with you.
Quarrel not with a man without cause,
with one who has done you no harm.
Envy not the lawless man
and choose none of his ways:
To the LORD the perverse one is an abomination,
but with the upright is his friendship.
The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked,
but the dwelling of the just he blesses;
When dealing with the arrogant, he is stern,
but to the humble he shows kindness.
Gospel Luke 8: 16-18
Jesus said to the crowd:
“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away.”
Today the Catholic Church remembers a group of Korean martyrs from the 19th century, who in different ways refused to hide their faith or to cease evangelising their own society. The passage from Proverbs tells us that the curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked (the persecutor) but he blesses the dwelling of the just (the martyr). This reminds us of the steady courage of the witnesses who stood firm in the face of death; and of the cruelty of persecutors, who have sometimes been Christians.
Believing a message which has been communicated at the cost of the life-blood of saints, is a serious responsibility, from which we should not resile, because we live in tolerant societies. Yes, we must practice what we preach, but for sake of truth, we must preach what we practice. The lamp is not handed to us so that we can hide it under a bed.
Those who practice and preach their faith for the benefit of others, do not find it depleted but rather increased; whereas those who do neither, find that it atrophies from lack of use.