"...nor shall you stand by idly when your neighbor's life is at stake." —Leviticus 19:16
It is seriously sinful to be idle, apathetic, lethargic when people's lives are at stake. This means we must do something to stop abortion. Millions of lives are literally and immediately at stake. Also, we must not stand by idly while millions continue to starve to death. We must radically simplify our lifestyle or we will be part of a system that almost automatically oppresses the poor and leaves millions starving.
Furthermore, the physical destruction of so many lives is symptomatic of the spiritual destruction of many lives. Those idle in the face of death not only sin but also become dead themselves. If we are not to join the ranks of the "living dead" (see 1 Jn 3:14), we must not stand by idly when others are in danger of spiritual death. This means we are obligated to call Christians to repentance and holiness.
We are especially obligated to call non-Christians to Christ. If we stand by idly and refuse to share our love for Jesus, we will be sinning and putting one foot in the grave. We must evangelize or be the "deadest of the dead" (see 1 Cor 15:18).
Prayer: Father, help me take Your command to evangelize as a matter of life or death.
Promise: "The King will answer them: 'I assure you, as often as you did it for one of My least brothers, you did it for Me.' " —Mt 25:40
Praise: Charles hadn't noticed how his prayer life had deadened until the liturgies of Lent called him to revive it.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Mission Impossible, or our tape on audio AV 46-1 or video V-46.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 11, 2008
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