Silence from the pulpits?
From the movie “Silence of the lambs” portraying the young lambs crying out as they were led to slaughter. How many innocent persons sitting in the pews at churches everywhere are in essence the modern lambs that do nothing because it is either politically correct to zip their ilips with so much anguish being perpetrated on our streets or in abortion clinics, and they do nothing. Or, when it comes to selecting strong willed politicians at the voting booths and choosing those for office that will stand up for the right to life and declare that security on our streets or in our schools is paramount with the dictates our founding fathers proclaimed when the Constitution was written?
When I was ordained in 1974 the one attraction that I had was to preach. The first Sunday after I was ordained a priest asked me to preach for the first time, and I somehow lost the dream I had and almost did not preach. He said you’ll do everything a deacon does, read the gospel, and preach. I said I wasn’t ready to preach but would read the gospel. He said, if you don’t give the homily you also will not read the gospel. Preaching is part of the gospel. I went home and prepared some type of homily and delivered it, sheepishly. But I learned a lesson! To preach is to put the minds of the listeners in a parallel theme with what Jesus was doing with his audiences, encouraging them to take the message and promote it to the world, one person at a time.
This is the message that should be ringing loud and clear from the pulpits encouraging the lambs sitting before the preacher to take what they’ve heard and go out to the world one person at a time with a directive of do as I have sent you to do. Jesus did not just preach a good message as a street vendor and allow the words to drop without sustenance but a mandate to build his church around the world.
Our hope is that the words that come through the sound system of every pulpit do not fall on deaf ears. “Leaving church today we heard a good homily” say many, but if the message stops here the promotion to do the same has left the lambs crying for salvation from tyranny and allows those in Washington and Moscow to completely do their best to foster and grow in Communistic ideals.
The priest who made me find strength to use the pulpit properly was the most important step into the many years I preached. Fortunately I found my niche and proclaimed the gospel almost every Sunday for over 24 years. I had a gift and did not bury it. There are many others who have done the same with their gift of preaching. Unfortunately, there might be some who are tongue tied due to “not upsetting the apple cart” as I was told twice to not preach on abortion. I did not adhere to their suggestions and hope there are more who stand up for the beliefs of the innocent lambs as well. Their cries are more than just whimpers, they are the hundreds of millions of innocent people of God waiting for the words of a prophet.
Ralph B. Hathaway