Monday, November 23, 2009

“So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them.” (Mark 15.15)

New Testament Challenge, Day 9 – Mark 13-16

I have found this mentality to be very prevalent in today’s society, not just in the Church but in all society circles. We are much more concerned with being liked by the crowd of what in many cases is made up of complete strangers than we are in the truth. This is often the case with politics and religion. This may be why our society has a “friendly agreement” to not discuss religion or politics with people at work. It is easier to avoid the conflict and maintain the fa├žade of being liked than to risk loosing good business deals. Our politicians are more likely to answer our questions with statements the think we want to hear than what they actually believe or plan to do in office. Then when someone in society does “stick to his guns” and stand firm in his beliefs he is denounced as being stubborn and unenlightened and unwilling to compromise.

We can no longer compromise on the truth – God became man to unite humanity to divinity – and we must being to proclaim it from the mountain tops. Sometimes that might mean not being liked. Sometimes it might mean, especially for those of us who are clergy or members of parish councils, the people might leave the Church because they don’t want to live according to the teachings of Christ and His Church. Maybe the time has come to revisit some of the Holy Canons that assisted the Church in helping people realize the gravity of their life decisions.

Consider the recent public dispute between Rhode Island Roman Catholic Bishop Thomas Tobin and Rep. Patrick Kennedy over the question of abortion “rights” and whether Kennedy has the “right” to receive Holy Communion in the Roman Catholic Church. One citizen actually said, "If they believe they're a true Catholic, who's to say that they're not?" (See Associated Press Story, “Kennedy Dispute Reveals Conflict Among Catholics") Former New York Governor Mario Cuomo said it best, “"If you're required (by the church) to make everybody follow your Catholic role, then nobody would vote for Catholics because it's clear that when you get the authority, you're going to be guided by your faith."

But isn’t that the point? Aren’t we called by the Lord to live our faith? “Faith with out works is dead.” (James 2.20) The time has come for us to live our faith and worry less about being liked by the crowd. Our salvation depends upon it.

No comments: