One of the things that I admire most about St. Paul (there are many) is his boldness. And the first line of today’s first reading really sums things up. “I am not ashamed of the Gospel.” More on that in a moment. In the Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus derides the Pharisees for being so bent on outward expressions of piety, when inside they are “filled with plunder and evil.”
We know that when St. Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel,” he meant it. It showed through in his life, in his writings, in his actions. We can all use St. Paul as an example of this in our lives. It begs the question…how does this verse play out in our lives? It reminds me of the old question: If you were on trial for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? Sometimes, for me, the answer would probably be no.
There are many ways that this notion of not being ashamed of the Gospel can play out in our lives. But one in particular comes to mind for me. When confronted by those who do not believe in or follow the Gospel of Christ, are we willing to stand up for it. More succinctly, are we willing to stand up for Him? Are we willing to defend our Gospel values, defend the teachings of our Lord against the powers of the world? If not, then perhaps we are ashamed of the Gospel, and we need to rethink our position.
Father, help us to live our lives as though we are not ashamed of the Gospel. Give us the strength and courage to stand up for what is right and true no matter what. Amen.