Live not just preach the Good News
In the Gospel last Sunday, Jesus clearly spelt out what he was on earth for and what we should also do to fulfill our own lives in this world.
“The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,”(Luke 4:18)
In his sermon, the celebrant spoke about the declining morals today which he said was because the people do not want to follow the laws of the church which they think are too suppressive of their freedom. On the contrary he said the laws of the church are meant to liberate the people from sin not stifle their freedom to do what they like.
He spoke about the rising promiscuity in society today; premarital sex, contraception, pornography and stealing and he asked how we could be happy indulging all these immoral acts. We look around we see evil everywhere – corruption, racism, cruelty, greed, hatred and violence. Those in power abusing their power to suppress the poor and ignorant and others abusing religion and God for their abnormally greedy needs.
True people today are questioning every laws and values that were held so dear over so many centuries. Not only laws on sexual morality but on almost every aspect of our lives. Good has become bad and bad become good. Why are we facing such an hypocritical life in the world today?
It is important to ask ourselves 2 main questions:
1.How have I contributed to the declining morality today?
No one particular individual or group can be blamed for this situation we have today. All of us, parents, teachers, pastors and political leaders in all levels and leaders in whatever organization we belong to, are all responsible for the rot we have today.
Do we practice what we preach to the children and others under our care? Do we follow the very laws and rules that we want others to do so? Are we showing examples by our own good and morally righteous behavior?
Very often we preach one thing and do something else. We ourselves continue to do immoral things but expect others to be all good.
2.What can I do to reverse this immoral trend that is fast becoming the way of life?
The only way is to lead by example. Youngsters today hate to be told what to do and they will rebel if forced to do so. But they will be subtly influenced by our living examples that will slowly instill good values in them. Such slow infusion of the right values by example will lead to the adoption of the right approach when they are faced with difficult situations later in life.
Jesus said he came to bring the good news to the afflicted, to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free. We cannot be Jesus to do all these, which he did but we can refrain from doing anything that oppresses others and deprives them of their freedom and rights. The least can do is to demonstrate the right values to our children and others under our care. The Good News which Jesus brought cannot be preached but lived.
From my own experience I understand fully how difficult it is to bring up children with good values in an extremely evil world today even by being good parents ourselves. There is no way children can grow up to be morally upright if we ourselves don’t indulge in such virtues for them to see.
The Gospel reading
Luke 1:1-4, 4:14-21
1 Seeing that many others have undertaken to draw up accounts of the events that have reached their fulfilment among us,
2 as these were handed down to us by those who from the outset were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word,
3 I in my turn, after carefully going over the whole story from the beginning, have decided to write an ordered account for you, Theophilus,
4 so that your Excellency may learn how well founded the teaching is that you have received.
14 Jesus, with the power of the Spirit in him, returned to Galilee; and his reputation spread throughout the countryside.
15 He taught in their synagogues and everyone glorified him.
16 He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read,
17 and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:
18 The spirit of the Lord is on me, for he has anointed me to bring the good news to the afflicted. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives, sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free,
19 to proclaim a year of favour from the Lord.
20 He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him.
21 Then he began to speak to them, 'This text is being fulfilled today even while you are listening.'