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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

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2 Timothy 1:1-3, 6-12
Psalm 123
Mark 12:18-27

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shame, shame, shame

"I am not ashamed." —2 Timothy 1:12

Paul told Timothy: "Never be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for His sake" (2 Tm 1:8). Paul also said: "I am not ashamed, for I know Him in Whom I have believed" (2 Tm 1:12). On another occasion, Paul proclaimed: "I am not ashamed of the gospel" (Rm 1:16). Jesus declared: "If anyone in this faithless and corrupt age is ashamed of Me and My doctrine, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes with the holy angels in His Father's glory" (Mk 8:38; see also Heb 11:16).

The Lord teaches us: "My children, heed My instruction about shame; judge of disgrace only according to My rules, for it is not always well to be ashamed, nor is it always the proper thing to blush" (Sir 41:14). We should be ashamed of immorality, falsehood, flattery, crime, disloyalty, dishonesty, theft, gluttony, miserliness, lust, and gossiping (Sir 41:15-23). "These are the things you should rightly avoid as shameful" (Sir 41:24). "But of these things be not ashamed, lest you sin through human respect: of the law of the Most High and His precepts, or of the sentence to be passed upon the sinful" (Sir 42:1-2). We should not be ashamed of generosity, justice, discipline, and discretion (Sir 42:1-8).

"Look to Him that you may be radiant with joy, and your faces may not blush with shame" (Ps 34:6). True shame should not lead us to self-hatred, but to repentance. Refusing to be ashamed of God, His gospel, and His people should lead to evangelization. Let's refuse false shame and remove true shame by repenting. Then we can say with Paul: "I am not ashamed" (2 Tm 1:12).

Prayer:  Father, remove my shame, especially shame that I have kept for years.

Promise:  "To You I lift up my eyes Who are enthroned in heaven." —Ps 123:1

Praise:  When tempted to fall into shame over past confessed sins, Rhonda recites Psalm 34.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Shame on audio AV 54-1 or video V-54.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, January 4, 2008

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