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Monday, August 25, 2014

Is This the Namby-Pamby Jesus of Liberalism?

Today's gospel shows Jesus the head of the Church Militant in warrior form. Can't you almost see Him brandishing the "sword of the Spirit, the word of God."
"Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. 
"Woe to you , scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves. 
"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.' Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred?" (Matt 23: 13ff)
Jesus is certainly the lover who won't break a bruised read or quench a burning ember. But he never flinched at condemning hypocrisy, especially from the Jewish clergy of His day. And John the Baptist, among other saints, imitated Him. No one could ever accuse him of being non-confrontational!

So what are we called to do in imitation of Christ? Certainly pray and fast. The Bible makes it clear Jesus often went away to a deserted spot to pray. But are we not also called to confront the evils of our culture and admonish sinners? Shall we not follow Christ into battle with the "sword of the Spirit?"

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