Present yourselves as a model

What you are doing speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying.

I remember years ago when a speaker at a pre-marriage session told the following story:  I put money into a soft drink machine.  One of the quarters got caught in the coin slot — so I hit on the machine until it dislodged and the can rolled out.  A few days later I saw my son hitting on the same machine — he had not put any money in — but after seeing me hit the machine, he thought that was what needed to be done to get a soft drink.

We all learn by seeing and by observing.  From an early age, some actions are in direct response to what is observed.  I recall “swatting” my great-nephew “little Henry” on his backside when he was about 3-4 — next thing I knew, he swatted me on the behind.  “Literally, monkey see, monkey do.”

St. Paul teaches in this weekend’s second reading — 2 Thess. 3:7-12 —  “We did not act in a disorderly way among you, nor did we eat food received free from anyone.  On the contrary, in toil and drudgery,  night and day, we worked, so as not to burden any of you.  Not that we do not have the right.  Rather, we wanted to present ourselves as a model for you, so that you might imitate us.”

None of us should waste time about bad examples that we have given in the past — all of us could have done better —–NO DOUBT.  What kind of example are we giving this day and what example are we going to give tomorrow?  This is the testimony that we are called to give … [see the Gospel —Luke 21: 5-19]    As chaos arises — when things begin to crumble around us — when hardship falls —-clearly we need leaders who can point us in the right direction —- but, even more, we need leaders out in the front showing us the way.

Pope Francis has called for leaders who “smell like the sheep.”  That challenge applies to all us — brothers, sisters, parents, preachers, student council officers, teachers, principals, clergy …. everyone.

When a repair person promises to be at our house by 10 a.m. —- we are not amused when we are still waiting at noon.  How faithful are we to serve those around us in a way they are expecting [needing] and as we have promised?

No one can say that the roll-out of OBAMACARE was a success —- is the quality of our work “first class” or second-rate?

Bishop “BLING” of Germany has been the subject of ridicule — a $20,000 bathtub?  Are we “too lavish” in our own lifestyles?

As we judge others, are we mindful of our own sins/past history?

Preaching must be followed by action.


About thegospelforliving

Retired Catholic Priest - now serving the community as a paralegal and charter school consultant.
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