Unchaining Our Faith

Thursday of the 9th Week in Ordinary Time

2 Timothy 2: 8-15, 9-12; Mark 12: 18-34

Dc. Larry Brockman

“But the word of God is not chained!”  Such is Paul’s reaction to his enchainment and imprisonment. Rather than be concerned for himself, Paul is writing letters to Timothy urging him to go forward with the spreading of the Word of God.  Paul is more concerned for others than he is over his own fate, namely, being chained and imprisoned for doing the same thing.  Such courage! 

Today we celebrate the feast of Charles Lwanga and companions. These Ungandan Christians suffered martyrdom in 1885 for spreading the Word of God, exhibiting great courage as well.  But just as Paul predicted, the word of God remained unchained.  Because Christianity continued to spread in Uganda, even up until today.  In fact, there are many vocations to the priesthood there, with many African priests coming to our country to help fill our need for priests.  And yet, even today in places like Uganda, it can be dangerous to be a Christian. 

Looking over the history of the Church, I cannot help but be struck by an interesting fact:  In places where the people are persecuted for their faith, and in times when there is great suffering, many people seem to be more zealous and more courageous about their Faith.  So, I ask myself why?  And also, why is the Word of God received so well by others in the same difficult times?   Is it because when folks are comfortable with their lives they don’t need God?  And so, turning the situation around, when life is not easy, people feel more of a need for God? 

Maybe it’s because when life is filled with clutter, the kind of clutter that comes from comfort:-  lot’s of money and things and time and resources to enjoy the things of the world, then there’s no urgency to hear the Word.  But Paul’s words for Timothy today about the rewards for dying unto Christ and gaining everlasting life would make so much more sense to you if you were just trying to eek out a living, or just trying to survive for your faith. 

Priority for God is the issue- just what is our priority for God?  Well, the Gospel message today seems to be ever so appropriate.  Because no matter how well off or oppressed we are, our first priority should always be loving God.   If we love God, than truly the Word of God will be unchained. 

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