To Do What We Can
By Lorraine Vincent
November 2, 2014
Jesus said, “If any want to become My followers, let them… take up their cross and follow Me” (Mk 8:34). He came to tell the Truth. Although it was difficult He corrected people and taught them what was right. As servants of Jesus we can encourage and give compliments to people who are doing good things in this world. We also must do what we can to act and speak against things that we know are wrong. This applies to people in authority in our country and places around the world. It also applies to people that God places in our path.
St. James wrote, “Anyone, then who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin” (James 4:17). If we make the choice to do nothing, we become part of the problem, that is, we accept the sin upon ourselves.
Even worse is the act of supporting or aiding the sinner in the wrong doing. One can think of many examples of this. A prevalent one is to help financially or aid an unmarried couple. Even to say nothing against the act is wrong.
St. Faustina wrote in her Dairy, Divine Mercy in My Soul, “O truth, so often oppressed, you nearly always wear a crown of thorns! O Eternal Truth, support me that I may have courage to speak the truth” (Diary, 1482). During a conversation with others, if we hear someone praise and support a sinful act, we must express our disagreement, or sometimes a scornful expression and dead silence on our part can say a thousand words.
Often we don’t want to hurt our friend’s feelings and we just smile and nod. How sad for ourselves and the other person! Perhaps at the next opportunity we can make amends for our lack of proper response, and kindly say or do something right for love of Jesus and for them. Jesus said to St. Faustina, “Both the sinner and the righteous person have need of My mercy. Conversion, as well as perseverance, is a grace of My mercy” (Diary, 1577).
Remember the good thief on the cross? He reprimanded his companion next to him on the cross for speaking rudely to Jesus. He repented of his sins and asked Jesus to save his soul. Because of this Jesus rewarded him saying, “[T]oday you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). We see from this that it is never too late to speak the truth. Jesus will reward us for our efforts.
Despite our efforts, we may see our loved ones going astray. It is painful, indeed. Jesus said to St. Faustina, “I do not reward for good results but for the patience and hardship undergone for My sake” (Diary, 1489). We must not give up.
St. Peter encourages us, “ [I]t is better to suffer for doing good, if suffering should be God’s will, than to suffer for doing evil. For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. … But rejoice in so far as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when His glory is revealed” (1 Peter 3:17,18, 4:13).