“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” ― Frederick Douglass: 1818 - 1895) was an African-American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman)
Gospel Text: (MT 5:17-19)
Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”
There must be integrity, as it is put in today’s gospel by Jesus, between what is practiced and what is preached. With this demand Jesus issues a warning and promise: “whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven”, while “whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”
Every Christian is, by virtue of baptism, called to be a teacher. We remember St. Francis’ admonition to “preach always, and if necessary, use words.” As each of us makes our nightly examination of conscience, we look for the integrity Jesus has asked of us, in what we’ve taught others by our actions, but also by our words.