The Deacon’s Bench
I was thinking, how future generations will view us. Alongside the many wonderful things they could say about us, they could also say, “they were a diverse people, yet they shunned diversity. They were a kind and generous people but were selective in their kindness and generosity. They were an intelligent people but refused to consider an opposing view. They were a people who loved and celebrated life, yet they allowed millions of unborn babies to be killed. They were a people whose leaders could teach and demand high standards of morality but fail so tragically in their own personal behavior. They were a peace-loving people who could easily become belligerent… they were people of integrity who would compromise that integrity… seeing things that were right but saying they were wrong and things that were wrong and accepting them as right. They were a loving and caring people who could turn away from the plight of others because they were different from them. They were a nation of people who professed a belief in God… yet… they marginalized His very existence and importance in their lives. This is pretty harsh but sadly too often true… History writes what history sees… and once it is consigned to history it cannot be changed.
Throughout scripture we have been told and warned how we should act. In the Old Testament we are admonished to share our bread with the hungry… shelter the oppressed… house the homeless and cloth the naked. Do not… we are warned… do not turn our back on those in need. If these words sound familiar it is because they are the same words Jesus preached when He said… “when you do this for the least of my brethren… you do it for Me.”
The Prophet, Isaiah says, your light must break forth from the darkness and in the Gospel, Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. And this is important to understand… Isaiah says remove from your midst… oppression… false accusations and malicious speech… One of the greatest weapons we have that can destroy people… is our tongue. Pernicious rumors and spreading gossip is a sin, and we are guilty of this egregious fault when we perpetuate this horrible behavior… and part of the problem is that it is so easy to do. It is so commonplace. It is amazing how quickly word spreads, whether it be true or not, about the bad behavior of another.
We love to get the inside scoop and we love to share it… even if we haven’t verified the truthfulness of the statement. Just go on the internet and see what is printed there about others… particularly those in public life. It’s shameful!
We are Knights of Columbus, we are followers of Christ… we are Catholics, we know better… Jesus tells us that “we are the salt of the earth… but if we lose our taste, we are good for nothing… and St. Paul tells us we must never grow weary of doing the right thing… and we must never… ever… stop believing in the power of one. The light from a single candle glows brightly in the dark. And if that light from a single candle persists and lights others… then the brightness of hundreds and thousands and millions of candles can shatter the darkness completely… As we begin this season of Lent let us commit now to being that people that God calls us to be.