Today’s readings challenge us to confront the evil in our midst. How challenging it is to do that in today’s society where most people only see blatant evils and not the smaller evils of everyday life.
In fact, much of the evil in our world has been tainted and twisted so that people can’t even recognize evil and sin when they see it. Many can’t even see their own sins.
Have you ever tried to rebuke evil in today’s world? I have and didn’t get very far, especially when it’s not someone I have a close relationship with who has a vested interest in hearing me out. I watch so many attempts on social media platforms to call out evil and all of them pretty much fail.
Most people don’t want to listen to another Catholic or Christian spewing off her moral opinions and truths. A lot of it is just noise at this point. Most people don’t have ears to hear the truth about their actions and the impact they have on others or society these days. We live in a self-centered world of “my way” and not God’s way and Republican vs. Democrat.
Months ago I was wrestling with a moral dilemma and how to handle it and came to this conclusion: I will just live my life differently based on my moral and spiritual principles and based on the truth I know from my Catholic faith and belief in God. Others can judge for themselves what is true, moral, and good based on the fruits they see right in front of them. Let their conscience tug at them, not my words.
Strangely enough, I learned that St. Francis of Assisi believed similarly. When asked about the meaning of the first reading passage today, he said, “I understand it to mean that a servant of God should be burning with life and holiness so brightly that by the light of example and the tongue of his conduct, he will rebuke all the wicked.”
There you have it, the answer to today’s dilemma of how to confront evil in your midst from my favorite saint: Strive to live with such purity of life, light, and holiness that your example illuminates what is dark and disturbing in our world.