7"So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel; whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from me. 8If I say to the wicked, O wicked man, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 9But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way; he shall die in his iniquity, but you will have saved your life.
Pretty intense Mass readings today, on Sunday, September 6, the 23rd Sunday in ordinary time. All three of them, minus the Psalm, as a matter of fact totally dismantle the whole notion of that Scripture quote we so conveniently love to embrace - "Who am I to judge?"
Of course most of the people espousing such platitudes are usually pretty quick to judge someone's heart, yet would never condemn wicked actions or behaviors. We see this every day on the social media threads and news outlets, don't we? People are pretty quick to rip into the intentions and motivations of people like our president regarding hot topics such as right to life stances and pledges; while ignoring any and all good actions they have taken. Such people revel in only invoking past sins and ways. Ignored, seems to be the fact that we should all be looking forward, and as God forgives and has mercy on our past sins, so we should have mercy and grant forgiveness to others. Of course Godless men and woman ignore such lessons as taught in Scripture, since they cannot be warped into their own devious manipulations. The master at holding past sins over our heads is Satan, and he does so to keep us from moving forward into virtuous and holy ways, when we then do this to others, we are doing the same thing. It is an action not of God, but of Satan, and we must stop.
It is amazing the lengths and efforts many of us take to justify evil actions. We defy even Holy Mother Church by trying to justify pro-choice candidates who have vowed to further that very agenda to the point of infanticide. We are so blinded by our arrogance and pride, that we defy all reason and proclaim to be Catholic while acting and defying everything the Church teaches and stands for. When we do this we nullify our Membership and Unity with the Church, and we condemn ourselves. It is why humility is so importance, and obedience so vital. And it is why Jesus demands obedience for salvation. The thing is, we can't be obedient without humility, and both obedience and humility are vices in this temporal world, a world so many of us are desperately trying to hold on to, and fit in with, to the peril or our souls. We are so hell-bent on being in control and knowing all, that we actually loose every aspect of control we could ever hope to gain and wield. We must relinquish our control to God, because he is the one in control, he created this world and everything in it, and it all belongs to Him, and not us. There is nothing we can do to change that, and the hopeless attempts to do that by so of us many just thrusts us farther and farther away from Truth, and every good gift that comes with it. It also moves us farther and farther away from unity with that control we so fervently desire. It is quite ironic, and very sad.
So many of us distort Church teaching to the degree that we define it for ourselves and then vilify anyone who dares to confirm and obey these self proclamations and profanities. We proclaim that we cannot judge someone else's actions, not even when it goes against the very commandments of God. Yet we have no problem labeling someone as evil, or any of the other horrible and vile labels we assign to those who disagree and strive for authentic Truth in Christ. We put ourselves on a level above God's laws and then condemn Him for initiating such laws and expecting the Faithful to comply. When we do this, we begin to walk the journey toward Satan and perdition, and we become so blinded that we don't see the cliff we are about to step over and the abyss we are falling into, and which will claim and torment us forever.
This is not our world, folks. We did not make it, we do not sustain it's existence, and WE do not call the shots. That is probably news to many, but it is Truth. The Truth can set us free, but we seem to revel in our captivity. We enthusiastically embrace sin. Love will hurt, but it is necessary, and love is action, and if we lack love, we will conform to the evils of others, because it takes much more effort to conform than to confront evil, and once we get accustomed to this, it becomes our norm and our "truth", and at that point, we are doomed.
The Scripture above scares the heck out me. I certainly don't want to be held accountable for sins of omission because through my grievous fault I have failed to correct, and teach, and love. Yes, true love is often rejected, true love is totally misunderstood, just like goodness and holiness. If they aren't hating us, then we are probably not loving in the way God is calling us to love. Love is not just a good feeling that gives us pleasure. It's time to start loving for real, because there is much correction and teaching to be done, and not much time. And unfortunately there are as many clergy out there leading people astray as the wayward and fake laity. There is an election approaching and many are going to be knowingly committing grave sin with their votes, because they stubbornly hold onto the notion that their truth is what matters, and not God's Truth. We need to start melting some hearts, because these kinds of hardened hearts don't make it into Heaven! We are not just a pro life people, we are a pro eternal life people and we have a song to sing, and souls to save with Truth, so let's get on with it!
Gospel, Matthew 18:15-20
15 'If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
16 If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, the evidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge.
17 But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to the community, treat him like a gentile or a tax collector.
18 'In truth I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 'In truth I tell you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at all, it will be granted to you by my Father in heaven
20 For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them.'
Reading 2, Romans 13:8-10
8 The only thing you should owe to anyone is love for one another, for to love the other person is to fulfil the law.
9 All these: You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet, and all the other commandments that there are, are summed up in this single phrase: You must love your neighbour as yourself.
10 Love can cause no harm to your neighbour, and so love is the fulfilment of the Law.