Gospel Reflection

Jim Rice ’79

Last year, I was catching up with an old friend. He and his wife were each raised Catholic, but I never knew them to actively practice the faith. So, it was not a total surprise when he told me that his wife was volunteering at a local Planned Parenthood because they provided free health care for women. But it still shook me. I worried about her soul (and the babies’ souls) as she was supporting an abortion provider. I thought I must say something. But what should I say? How should I say it? And so I thought about it, mustered up my courage and said… nothing.

Today’s gospel leaves no room for such an epic fail – we are called to shine the light of the world on God’s message of love, forgiveness, and salvation. Instead, I was as useful as broken flashlight.

I let fear stop me. Fear of sounding holier-than-thou, fear of being called a misogynist, fear of losing a friend. In retrospect, I should have asked a question, perhaps – how do you feel about supporting an abortion-provider? This would have opened up a discussion and that would allow the light of God’s message to shine on this situation. We don’t have to quote the Bible or doctrine in order to shine the light on God’s message. We just need to talk about it, in a loving and caring way.

Talking about our faith openly is not exactly a cultural norm for Catholics – many prefer to practice our faith in private. But we are called to evangelize, and we can’t do that by staying silent.

Let’s change that culture by speaking up – perhaps with a question to open up a discussion – which will allow us to start talking about our faith. Let the Holy Spirit do the rest. You ARE the light of the world, so start shining!