Witness to the Whole Gospel

Read today's readings: 1 COR 9:16-19, 22B-27 and LK 6:39-42 

“Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?

This parable applies to followers, disciples, of Christ, then and now. The same truth found in response to his question is relevant today. A blind person will not be an excellent guide to someone who also can not see; neither blind person will know exactly where they are going. If we look and apply this to a teacher’s relation to their disciple, it is the teacher who is leading the disciple to where they need to be. The disciple is someone who needs a guide who can instruct them and knows where and how to guide them, keeping them from falling, not into a physical pit, but the pit of error. Once this disciple learns, that disciple will have the wisdom and understanding to help others in the learning process.

St. Paul speaks to the Corinthians about preaching. He tells them that it is an obligation that has been imposed on him. We could say that Paul was tasked with teaching, to teach others about Christ, and about the life that Christ has invited us. To do this, Paul needs some familiarity with who Christ is and what he had said; otherwise, he would be a blind guide leading the blind.

In the same passage St. Paul tells them that he preaches the Gospel free of charge. It is not by an employer that he is obliged to this but by God. The same can be said even about us. We are obliged to teach and witness to the same Gospel once we start living for that same God. We cannot do one without doing the other since to live for God is to be a witness to the Gospel. St. Paul says further, “and woe to me if I do not preach it.” The Gospel is free of charge because our payment is not money but rather eternal life, and so what person knowing how to get to heaven would not want to teach those who do not. More so it is an act of love to share the Gospel as opposed to keeping it hidden.

It disturbed me greatly when I read that the religious sister who had done the invocation at a recent convention refused to answer a fundamental question. I say ‘fundamental’ because she is a consecrated religious, a Catholic, and one who should be a witness to the Gospel. When asked whether her organization opposes the legal protection of abortion, she said it was beyond her paygrade. Continuing to avoid the question, she said, “It’s not the issue that we work on. I’m a lawyer. I would have to study it more intensely than I have.” 

Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.

Matthew 5:37 RSV

I find it sad when a person who has given themselves to Christ at one point can’t witness to His Gospel and about life. Sure, she might be a lawyer, but when did that mean more than being a consecrated religious sister. I am in no way perfect, but the answer is straightforward when it comes to protecting the unborn, and that is abortion is evil and wrong.

What she recently said is not the first instance of her dodging the issue of abortion law, there is an interview in 2016 that the same question comes up.

Anyways, if one can’t stand for life, what are they standing for? Today’s readings helped me gather my thoughts about this and how any of us should respond. The response, we know what’s in the Gospel and unfortunately, it was not stood up for. To remain silent over others’ silence can become just as dangerous as a blind person leading another blind person to safety.

With all the turmoil in our world and our country, we need witnesses to the Gospel. The world needs those willing to teach and speak the truth – to speak up now more than ever. As we fight our own spiritual battles, let us pray for our religious, our clergy, and all the faithful for the strength to be witnesses as Christ calls us to be.

3 Comments

  1. Thanks Father. I too was disturbed and disappointed in this nun. Being a lawyer does not preclude her from her responsibilities of being a Catholic and following the teachings of Christ…thou shalt not kill was a clear directive from God to Moses. As a Catholic, I was very saddened by Sister’s response. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and for being a true Teacher of the faith.

  2. Thank you, Father Gow. Yes, witness to the WHOLE gospel, not just pick and choose or dance around the words. God is clear in his word by the writings he inspired, and by Jesus sent to us to be the living word. It is a gift from God, cherish and share it!!! Let us pray to always be guided by the Holy Spirit, and our guardian angels, to do/live what is right AND TO NOT BE AFRAID TO SPEAK THE TRUTH!

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