Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Kindness and Truth in the Vast Assembly

By Melanie Rigney

Since the law has only a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of them, it can never make perfect those who come to worship by the same sacrifices that they offer continually each year. Otherwise, would not the sacrifices have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, once cleansed, would no longer have had any consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices, there is only a yearly remembrance of sins, for it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats take away sins. (Hebrews 10:1-4)

Your justice I kept not hid within my heart; your faithfulness and your salvation I have spoken of; I have made no secret of your kindness and your truth in the vast assembly. (Psalm 40:11)

And looking around at those seated in the circle he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister.” (Mark 3:34-35)

Lord, deliver me from the same old, same old. Instill in me the faith and courage to advocate for You in the vast assemblies in my life.

It can be a shock to the system when we find out our friends, coworkers, or others we generally enjoy being around have an entirely different view on a major issue of the day than we do. Recently, an acquaintance said women who favored an end to abortion didn’t belong at an event because they couldn’t be real feminists. I started to explain why I felt otherwise; after a look of disbelief, the acquaintance nodded. “Oh, right,” she said. “You’re Catholic.” End of discussion.

I kicked myself later for not taking the conversation back to the topic. My views on abortion and many other hot-button issues did not change the second I started checking the Catholic box on forms. They evolved, as I studied Church teachings and their origins. I was forced to actually think about my positions rather than be for or against stuff because that’s what all the cool kids thought. And in many cases, I found that my true beliefs were very different from the opinions I had spouted off for years.

My point here is not to imply or say that people with opinions counter to mine are wrong or uninformed or that those opinions were not formed after much consideration. The point of this is a mea culpa to God because I failed to speak of His kindness and truth in a very small assembly. And if I am fearful of speaking to one person whose view is different, what will I do in a group of a half-dozen or more? What will I do if the day comes that I am faced with the choice of earthly life… or denying him? And so, I resolve anew to speak up for the Lord, since I desire nothing more than a place in His circle.

We are in the midst of the 9 Days for Life annual period of prayer and action, centered on efforts to end abortion. What can you do? Check out the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ site to learn more about what’s going on nationally, with links to local efforts.

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