Tuesday, June 13, 2017

I try to avoid watching the news as much these days. Our national media machine seems to simply be aiming for shock, awe, and fear; rather than truth and dissemination of information. (click the link to read more)

Memorial of Saint Anthony of Padua, Priest, and Doctor of the Church
Lectionary: 360
2 COR 1:18-22
PS 119:129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 135
MT 5:13-16

I try to avoid watching the news as much these days.  Our national media machine seems to simply be aiming for shock, awe, and fear; rather than truth and dissemination of information.  Occasionally though I’ll tune it to find some senator or politician speaking.   I am constantly amazed at how some of these individuals can speak for several minutes without ever actually saying anything.   A question will be put forth that is clearly a yes or no question, and the skillful orator that they are, they speak rapidly in circles without ever actually addressing the question and often just hitting their campaign or party platform bullet points on the way.

Paul seems to be suffering from this in his relationship with the Corinthians.  They are accusing him somehow of speaking out both sides of his mouth.   Saying different things to the same question.   It’s almost as if someone has been going around accusing Paul of being a modern day politician.   Giving a different answer based on where he is, and who he is talking to.   Paul is clear in his rebuttal of this.   He not only declares that his answers are clear and concise but they are as trustworthy as Christ himself.   As Jesus taught simply, let your Yes be Yes and your No be No.   Everything we say should be the truth.

That’s what it means to be Christian, right?   Jesus in the Gospel calls us the salt of the earth.   People have spoken much more eloquently about this amazingly deep image than I could ever do.   What it brings to my mind though are two simple things.   First, that we are the first “bible” that most people see.   It doesn’t do much good to claim to be Christian and have your life look just like everyone else’s.   To follow Christ means to be different.  If we listen to the same music, watch the same shows, wear the same clothes, and act the same way… how do we change them?  Or even ourselves?   Our actions must point to the love of God and shower it on all we meet.

 Secondly, the powerful thing about salt is that it enhances the flavors that we already have.  It doesn’t destroy that which is enjoyable, it makes it taste even better.  Our lives shouldn’t become dour and taciturn, devoid of joy and happiness… but filled with a joy that is set in its proper place.  Watching movies with your family is good, but choose movies that glorify God.   The same with music, dancing, going out to dinner, and anything else you do… in all things give glory to God.  That way the salt of our faith can enhance the beauty of this world and point to a greater thing than ourselves.

His servant and yours,
Brian Mullins

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. - Psalm 19:14