Tuesday, September 19, 2017

One of the problems in today’s world is that people lack trust in goodness.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” ― Desmond Tutu: (born 7 October 1931: is a South African anti-apartheid and social rights activist and Anglican bishop.)

Scripture Text: (1 TM 3:1-13)
Beloved, this saying is trustworthy:
whoever aspires to the office of bishop desires a noble task.
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil's punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil's trap.

Similarly, deacons must be dignified, not deceitful,
not addicted to drink, not greedy for sordid gain,
holding fast to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
Moreover, they should be tested first;
then, if there is nothing against them,
let them serve as deacons.
Women, similarly, should be dignified, not slanderers,
but temperate and faithful in everything.
Deacons may be married only once
and must manage their children and their households well.
Thus those who serve well as deacons gain good standing
and much confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Recently, I began reading a biography of the Lutheran martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who became a theologian and a pastor when Hitler began his rise as leader in Germany. He came from a wealthy, well know family in Germany. Shortly after Hitler’s election, Bonhoeffer broadcasted a sermon over the radio in which he said that Hitler was not trustworthy and why. The radio station stopped transmitting mid-sermon, but no one would be able to stop him from preaching the Gospel. As we know, the German authorities later arrested him, threw him into a concentration camp and executed him. Of course, he was not the only one who condemned Hitler for his policy of extermination of the Jewish race and other crimes against humanity, but certainly he continues to be an outstanding example of someone who knows the difference between someone who is trustworthy and one who is not.

So, when Paul writes to Timothy, he is telling him to pay attention to what is trustworthy. Who is Timothy supposed to trust? Who are we supposed to trust? God and God’s Word. God acts of Love, which includes Jesus’ death on the Cross. The word and testimony of the many men and women over the centuries who have taught us the Gospel of Jesus, its values, its way of life, its sayings, and its saving message of grace. That is trustworthy and worthy of full acceptance!

St. Paul is asking us to be trustworthy ourselves. And Paul is also asking us not to be deceived by people who are not trustworthy. The rest of the first reading today from Mass describes people who are trustworthy and people who are not.

In whom do we put our trust?

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