Today many Christians have lost their credibility. The worldly, especially those running the mass media, don't think they need to take Christians seriously. They characterize us as stupid, backward, and harsh. We Christians don't seem worthy of a full-fledged persecution but only snide remarks and mocking snickers. To restore our credibility we should:
- "not...speak evil of anyone or be quarrelsome" (Ti 3:2),
- be good workers, "ready to take on any honest employment" (Ti 3:1),
- be good citizens (Ti 3:1), and
- "be forbearing and display a perfect courtesy" (Ti 3:2).
Think of those who don't take you seriously as a Christian. Possibly they are relatives, co-workers, or neighbors. Apply today's Scripture readings to your situation. "Venerate the Lord, that is, Christ, in your hearts. Should anyone ask you the reason for this hope of yours, be ever ready to reply, but speak gently and respectfully. Keep your conscience clear, so that, whenever you are defamed, those who libel your way of life in Christ may be shamed" (1 Pt 3:15-16). "Your teaching must have the integrity of serious, sound words to which no one can take exception. If it does, no opponent will be able to find anything bad to say about us, and hostility will yield to shame" (Ti 2:8). "Thus the word of God will not fall into disrepute" (Ti 2:5).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Imprimatur ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from October 1, 2008 through November 30, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008.