In this day and age of political correctness, and while we are at it I suppose we should mention cultural awareness, there is a growing movement to respect difference in beliefs, culture and so on. This is all well and good when it comes to Christianity and its dialogue with other religions as a starting point. However, like any other creed or movement Christianity has some root values and beliefs that are non-negotiable. That is, the values and truths expressed in the Gospels and Divine Revelation stand in judgment over other cultures and belief systems. In other words, error has rights but these rights are not absolute in every sense of the word! Let me explain.

There are many today who believe that it is wrong to evangelize! That is, Christians, and any other creed or belief system, has no right to try and impose ‘itself’ upon people who differ in their beliefs. Apart from this argument being unsustainable from a logical point of view (any set of laws by which a people lives has its basis in a more fundamental belief system) it is also directly contrary to the experience of human history and, indeed, the very search to understand and discover who we are as human persons!

Today’s Gospel calls all Christians to be salt to the earth and lights to the world. Salt is a seasoning that gives taste to the food being eaten. Lights illuminate the paths by which we walk. Therefore Christians must be fearless in the ways in which we proclaim the truth of the Gospel – presenting the Gospel to the world as salt to enrich our lives and culture and as light to point the way to true human fulfillment. This means that we must be willing to ‘rock the boat’ so to speak. The Gospel stands in judgment over human cultures revealing that which is in line with the truth and that which is not! Christianity does not compete as one among equals when it comes to knowing the truth about the human person. We believe that God has revealed to us the truth through the person of His Son, Jesus and it is Jesus who is the only true measure of all that is human!

This means that our faith calls us to be men and women who are willing to stand apart from the apathy, indifference and compromising attitudes of the world where peace at all costs is often the main goal. True peace comes only with the truth and the truth is embedded in the Gospel. We should not be arrogant or offensive in the way we present the truth to others but at the same time we should never fear standing by what we believe either!

Do I tend to be reluctant to admit that I am a practising Christian when asked? Am I willing to argue an issue from the basis of my Christian faith? If not, why am I afraid to do this?

Lord Jesus, you were fearless in proclaiming the truth to all whom you met. Strengthen my conviction of the truth of the Gospel so that I will be more willing to follow your example. Help me to overcome my fears of what others think about me and to act and speak only according to your will.