This year’s 113th Plenary Assembly of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference…
WE should stop all those kinds of antagonistic and antagonizing nonsense! A strong statement made in relation to the way we witness to our faith as Christians.
With his trademark straightforward clarity, Fr Cosmas Lee, parish priest of St Simon Catholic Church Likas, directed to many “apologists” (those who champion their religious beliefs) the order to halt, who do “witnessing” oppressively, extremely, fanatically, violently, treating their listeners/opposers as enemies, as foes who need to be killed by their crusading.
He underscored, that kind of “witnessing” where Christ’s love and life is absent in the behaviour becomes a lie and a sham!
“It’s not what we think we believe that matters, but the truth of what we live and practise, the respect and love of Christ, even for His enemies,” insisted Fr Lee.
He expounded from the liturgical reading of the sixth Sunday of Easter (May 17), which is the Sunday before the Ascension, followed by Pentecost.
Fr Lee reminded, though Jesus was about to depart from this world, he was not going to desert us or leave us orphans, but he would send us the Holy Spirit to be with us forever. “The fruit of our redemption won by Christ, His intimate and powerful presence to save, will from now be taken over by another Advocate. Christ will send the HOLY SPIRIT.”
The preacher does not doubt that St Peter in his letter has pointed to the disciples the best way to reverence the Lord was to give a clear and convincing account of what and why we believe and hope, and to give this witnessing account in true love. However, St Peter has also underlined that the way we pass it on to others “with courtesy and respect and a clear conscience” is what actually makes us Christian, and makes our witnessing truly Christian.
By the apostle’s reasoning, he maintained that if we are courteous, respectful, we will always win and never lose our good conscience or the deep sense of security founded on the truth we believe and live by. On the contrary, a lot of the time so-called apologists are aggressive and disrespectful because they are insecure about their belief actually.
St Peter added, “And if it is the will of God that you should suffer, it is better to suffer for doing right than for doing wrong”. It is part of our cross to suffer for what is right, for the Lord Himself suffered, died, but was raised triumphantly “in the SPIRIT” to life for doing what was right. The Lord’s life of utter love for sinners is our model and assurance of invincibility.
It is this same Holy Spirit given us by Jesus risen from the dead and to whom we bear witness to the God who gives us the Way, the Truth and the Life. He is the Holy Spirit who drives the early Church to continue the work of Christ by initiating the newly baptized into the life of God so that they too would be empowered to join in the work of spreading the Good News, as displayed by the accounts of the Acts of the Apostles.
Such a Church, united in the power of the Holy Spirit, shows forth the presence of Christ in signs and wonders, and accompanies all who receive the Holy Spirit. Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of Jesus’ love! – Source: SOCCOM SSCCL