Tuesday of the 24th Week in Ordinary Time
September 19, 2017
Therefore, a bishop must be irreproachable,
married only once, temperate, self-controlled,
decent, hospitable, able to teach,
not a drunkard, not aggressive, but gentle,
not contentious, not a lover of money.
He must manage his own household well,
keeping his children under control with perfect dignity;
for if a man does not know how to manage his own household,
how can he take care of the Church of God?
He should not be a recent convert,
so that he may not become conceited
and thus incur the Devil’s punishment.
He must also have a good reputation among outsiders,
so that he may not fall into disgrace, the Devil’s trap.
Today’s first reading talk about the moral conduct of follower or teacher of Christianity. We come across many preachers of Gospel in our times. How to recognise these preachers are from the Lord and from the World. Every Bishop has a special calling of an Apostle. This Calling has been passed on from apostles to the institution of the Bishops. The priests are helpers in this institution to carry on the Apostolic Work of Christ. This special calling need a clear Conscience and enlightened faith to understand the Works of God. Today’s reading talk about the life after the calling of God.
Every Christian is called to preach and teach the Gospel of Christ but by mingling in the secular World, the apostles or Bishops or preachers are carried away with the Worldly living and Gospel becomes the tag or signature of their title but the living has been copied or lived from the Worldly values. Jesus calls these category of people as Hypocrites and rebukes them. God loves Sinners but hates people who call themselves saints in the pretext of Sinful life. Jesus calls them Wolves in Sheep Clothes. We have many in all our Churches today. St. Paul gives us a way to recognise these people. We can recognise them in their moral conduct. Holy family lived a simple God-fearing life in righteousness and earning their daily bread in their own hands. St. Paul figures out the qualities of the Holy Family and compares to a moral conduct of a true apostle.
All the qualities mentioned in the letter are very important. I want to highlight few of them especially drunkenness. Our Bishops, Priests, preachers, parents, Pastors can say drinking a bit of wine or Beer is OK and cheers our mood and required for digestion as we are ageing in body. Alcohol is a drug or a spirit consumed to separate our senses from its normal form and live in abnormal form. This culture was not in the Church or in its inception nor Jesus encouraged drinking Alcohol. Drugs and alcohol constitute direct cooperation with Evil, since they encourage people to practice contrary to moral law. Some may say we drink only Wine or we are social drinkers but my friend drinking itself leads to Evil tendencies because we are not in a stage to use our free Will under the influence of Alcohol. This is the strategy adopted by the Evil one to trap good people to do evil by drugging their mind. If we see 90% of the Evil is either influenced or done in the influence of alcohol and drugs.
I spoke to Women about alcohol and she was saying men must consume little alcohol otherwise they do not look like men. I was wandering what kind of men she was dreaming in her mind. The alcohol has routed in our families, culture and the church and weakened our Communities day by day. People are struggling to come out of this Evil habit but not able due its bondage over the years. We must overcome this habit especially the Bishops, Priests and Pastors delighting with a Bottle of whisky or Champagne as a Christmas or Birthday Gift.
I visited a parish on a Divine Mercy feast at 3 P.M. for Chaplet of Divine Mercy devotion with a gathering of 500 plus devotees and thought of walking in to Priests residence to invite Parish priest and saw the parish Priest with other priests drinking Whisky. I called them for the devotion, the priest said I am tired of saying two masses in the morning and relaxing with Whisky to prepare to say my evening mass. When our devotions were about to get over at 5P.M., the same parish priest shouted at the devotees from the pulpit, you must leave the Church in five minutes otherwise I will throw your sound system and Divine Mercy Picture out of the Church. When we contacted that same priest the very next Week, he does not remember anything of the situation and was acting normally in a very sober way. We must pray for our priests and Bishops who are in the influence of Alcohol, not to condemn them but to help them in prayer and as a friend.
Also, we see the Lay preachers of today, expecting something in return for their preaching or prayer. Every labourer deserves his keep but cannot expect the wages in return like a person works for wages. When we expect the Wages for our free gifts given by God, our preaching does not become free and the virtue of God’s gift is manipulated and our reward remains Void or null in the Kingdom of God. Our Churches need more Charities but Charities do not come from people but only from God, so our priests and ministers must look at heaven and pray for the Charities and finances and not to look at the rich people’s Pockets and influences.
Please forward this article to your nearby priests and preachers not to condemn them but to enlighten them with the Gospel of truth which St. Paul writes it to Timothy of the Moral Code of Conduct of a Minister of the Church. We must pray daily for our Bishops, Priests and Pastors to live in holiness and become an example not only in Words but in Actions as well.