Paul told Timothy: "Never be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for His sake" (2 Tm 1:8). Paul also said: "I am not ashamed, for I know Him in Whom I have believed" (2 Tm 1:12). On another occasion, Paul proclaimed: "I am not ashamed of the gospel" (Rm 1:16). Jesus declared: "If anyone in this faithless and corrupt age is ashamed of Me and My doctrine, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes with the holy angels in His Father's glory" (Mk 8:38; see also Heb 11:16).
The Lord teaches us: "My children, heed My instruction about shame; judge of disgrace only according to My rules, for it is not always well to be ashamed, nor is it always the proper thing to blush" (Sir 41:14). We should be ashamed of immorality, falsehood, flattery, crime, disloyalty, dishonesty, theft, gluttony, miserliness, lust, and gossiping (Sir 41:15-23). "These are the things you should rightly avoid as shameful" (Sir 41:24). "But of these things be not ashamed, lest you sin through human respect: of the law of the Most High and His precepts, or of the sentence to be passed upon the sinful" (Sir 42:1-2). We should not be ashamed of generosity, justice, discipline, and discretion (Sir 42:1-8).
"Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame" (Ps 34:6). True shame should not lead us to self-hatred, but to repentance. Refusing to be ashamed of God, His gospel, and His people should lead to evangelization. Let's refuse false shame and remove true shame by repenting. Then we can say with Paul: "I am not ashamed" (2 Tm 1:12).
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from June 1, 2008 through July 31, 2008.
†Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008.