In the second reading today we have Saint John writing about age old axioms like, “actions speak louder than words” and “if you talk the talk you had better walk the walk.” These are different ways of saying that what you do should coincide with what you say and believe in. Regardless of what we say that we believe, what we actually do demonstrates what we really hold to be true in our lives. One can say just about anything about themselves but if they do not back up their talk with deeds that confirm what they say about themselves then we look upon them as hypocrites or frauds. It is this exact type of behavior that Jesus condemned in His teaching, as He encountered many of the teachers of the Law proclaiming what others should be doing and not following the law themselves.
As believers in the risen Christ we are called not only to belief in our Trinitarian God but also to a way of acting in our lives, we are called not only to internalize our faith but to also bring Christ to others by what we say and do. It is very true that this witnessing to the Gospel can be extremely challenging in the secular world of today. With the attitudes of minimalism, extremism, and a new brand of atheism that has taken root in our society it can be very uncomfortable standing up for our faith in the world today. Jesus however, has never promised us comfort in our faithful lives but He has promised us much much more, eternal joy in our eternal lives. If we truly believe in the message of the Gospel this may be the time to step up to the famed plate and be counted as a believer in a world that is growing more and more intolerant of us and our message. Yes we may be a bit uncomfortable about proclaiming and living out our faith but what is a bit of discomfort compared to that eternal reward. As the bishop instructs during an ordination concerning the Gospel message, “Believe what you read, teach what you believe, practice what you teach.” Amen.
Your servant in Christ,