I admire Jesus and how he respects the dignity of every person he encounters. For one to respect the dignity of each person, one must be both compassionate towards the sinner and condemning of the sin. For example, in John chapter 8th he defends the woman who has been caught in adultery, and by the Mosaic law could be stoned. However, Christ declares that we are all with sin and that we all deserve death.
Christ respects the dignity of all. However, the one thing I have to stress is that Christ’s love and acceptance of every person is not a license for free for all. I cringe at the notion when folks bring up that Jesus thinks our moral discussions are trivial as if there is no purpose for them. I would assert that his most sacred heart is stressed from our lack of faith and our constant weakness because of original sin to justify the ruins of the modern world and to reject the City of God.
At the very end of John Chapter 8, Christ does not condemn the woman, but neither does he accept her sin.
John 8:11 RSV
11 She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.”
By this statement, Christ is both compassionate and firm on the absoluteness of what is moral behavior.
Should we allow faith to be simply personal? Should we not have moral discussions with our communities? I reject this notion that has been birthed by the atheism of Classical Liberalism and the Enlightenment. I do so because Christ has warned about those who choose sin and promote it in the world so the next generation can fall under its slavery?
Mark 9: 42-47 RSV
42 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[g] it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea. 43 And if your hand causes you to sin,[h] cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go to hell,[i] to the unquenchable fire.[j] 45 And if your foot causes you to sin,[k] cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame than with two feet to be thrown into hell.[l][m] 47 And if your eye causes you to sin,[n] pluck it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell,
I would certainly assert that since Vatican II, there has been too much of a focus on low Christology, and there has been not enough focus on Christ’s teaching about sin and what leads to the Hell. Everyone wants to feel good inside and teach nothing but the “Jesus Loves You” gospel, but forgets that Jesus is also the Living Torah and the New Moses. When faced with the message of the Gospel of the Law, a common response is “Why can’t we focus more on the gentle Jesus?” It’s not the entire the Gospel, Christ taught about Sin, He was tempted in the desert by Satan, and Satan wants to tempt you to fall from the path of salvation.
In regards to the what I admire about Jesus. I admire his divinity, his sacrifice for our sins, and the judgment of Christ King of the Universe.
I remember my nephew said one day, “Church is boring.” I told him, “Impossible.” He replied, “What do you mean? I said, “Nothing can be boring in the presence of our Lord.”However, the Holiness of Christ and his presence in the tabernacle has never been a stressed point to him at his Catholic school. It was never stressed when I went Catholic school. When I go to Mass, I see that people who are fully capable of a true genuflect give a half-genuflect and leave Mass before the sign of Cross right after communion. I ask, Do you truly feel that Christ is there? Would this be your response if he manifested himself into the Incarnation? Would you leave Mass early? During the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, my Bishop, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, gave a beautiful homily, which came down to this lesson. “Do or do not” You must decide.
Fr. Longenecker just wrote a piece titled: “Jesus is Not Your Best Buddy.” He reminds us that Jesus is the good shepherd and gentle, but he is also the Judge–The Son of Man.
Mt. 24:29-31 RSV:
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; 30 then will appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory; 31 and he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Mt. 24: 36-44 RSV
36 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son,[c] but the Father only. 37 As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not know until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of man. 40 Then two men will be in the field; one is taken and one is left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one is taken and one is left. 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the householder had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have watched and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 Therefore you also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an hour you do not expect.
Why is the judgment rarely acknowledged by Christians?
I was called to teach a student one on one because the entire faculty had refused. They were afraid of him. However, the Principal called me, and I agreed to instruct the young man because through Christ I understood that the young man had dignity, and we must do everything we could to turn him from his path of destruction. I took the young man from averaging 40% to 86% in some classes. One day he started to talk about religion. He said, “I hope I am here for the second coming.”
I replied, “Interesting, most people wouldn’t say that…”
The young man was a little shocked by my answer, “What do you mean? Why?” he asked.
I said, “Well, it’s because most people haven’t chosen Christ, they’ve chosen the world.”
Every time we pray, we should pray for the Second Coming, we should pray for the final judgment. How many of us do so?