A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Gag order

In today’s first reading (Acts 4:13-21), the Apostles are ordered by the authorities “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.”

The Apostles respond promptly.

Whether it is right in the sight of God
for us to obey you rather than God,
you be the judges.

It is impossible for us not to speak
about what we have seen and heard.

Indeed, they have been commanded to speak by Christ himself, as we hear in today’s Gospel (Mark 16:9-15):

Go into the whole world
and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.

Many people in the world today try to put a gag order on Christians. In some countries, it is an explicit law that forbids the spreading of the faith. Even in the “free world” there are some who want to prosecute any who honestly proclaim particular parts of Christian teaching as given in Scripture. There are also written and unwritten codes in workplaces that discourage faith sharing. Finally there is the totalitarianism of political correctness which stifles any speech or action not blessed by the cultural elites.

To be sure, our mandate is not simply to recite the truth but to proclaim it and to make disciples. To that end, we need to be prudent in our communication of the truth, discerning the manner and the timing of what we say and do in order to maximize our effectiveness as stewards and ambassadors of the truth. It is, of course, the task of the Holy Spirit to make our words effective and to bring people to faith and so we must be always praying for those around us and those to whom we speak, yet we must also be responsible stewards of the gifts of intelligence and speech that the Lord has given us.

We need to be prudent, yet we must always be faithful.

We may sometimes feel uncomfortable and sometimes even intimidated, but the power and glory of the risen Christ is too wonderful to withhold.

It is impossible for us not to speak
about what we have seen and heard.