There seem to be many of us today that are afraid to speak Truth. We are fearful that the Truth of our Faith might be harsh to some, and it may cause many to turn away from Christ. We are fearful that the Truth might be offensive. We condescend ourselves and we then deny our Lord and the Truth found in our Faith in efforts to “get along” and really, essentially to be accepted and popular. We think this is an act of charity. But is it really? Is this something that brings us and anyone else closer to Christ and stronger in holiness? Or does it actually deepen the rift and chasm between Christ for those we are so eager to be friendly with and does it damage our own relationship with Jesus. Are we by doing this actually letting our pride rule and decide who is entitled to the Truth and who is not, based on our own feelings and emotion? Why do we find it necessary to water down Truth, when Christ himself did not worry about offending, and causing some to turn away from him. Why are we not able to allow others the dignity and respect to make the same choices that Jesus himself allows us to make?
Honestly, for those of us opposed to hearing the Truth of the Gospel, there has already been a turning away. We only reinforce that when we try to acquiesce and sugar coat what we know to be True, and what we know to be righteous. Everyone cannot be right about Truth, it is impossible. There is only one Truth, and there is only one authoritative entity that has been appointed by Christ himself to determine and hold us accountable to Truth. Truth comes from the Catholic Faith, Her teachings and dogmas. The heresy found in what others have determined to be Truth, is error and damaging to the soul. It really isn’t good enough, to at least be going to ‘some sort of church service”, you either follow Christ his way, or you follow Christ your own way, which is not following Christ at all. I know, pretty judgmental and intolerant huh?
Well, lets see what Jesus says about this, or what does he actually teach and do when He is confronted with the same exact scenario? In John 6, this exact situation arises while Jesus is preaching His Bread of Live discourse. Quarrelling, brawls and indignation was erupting during this sermon of Jesus. And finally, John 6; 66 reveals all the disciples of Jesus walked away, they found this teaching harsh and they turned away from Christ, and the Faith that he lived to bring us. At least all but the twelve. He doesn’t seem all that worried if His followers are going to be offended, he doesn’t soften or condescend the teaching either. In fact, Jesus doubles down and just hammers away at it, until all but the closest to him are left. They stay, as Peter so eloquently praises, because to whom else would they go? Jesus let them walk away, he did not stop them. It was their choice to listen, accept and follow Truth or not.
It is interesting to note, that those closest to Christ, accepted Truth. They knew Jesus, they trusted him, and they accepted and followed his teaching, even though they did not understand it, and found it difficult. The same teachings handed down for centuries by the Catholic Church, they are no different. The same teachings that so many of us deny, leave, and walk away from today, and have been walking away from for centuries. When we do this, we are separating ourselves from Christ, for our own wills, wants, and comfort. Jesus didn’t promise following him would be easy. He stated just the opposite in fact. He said that it would be difficult, accepting difficult teachings and a way of life is a part of the cross he states his followers and those who love him must pick up and carry. Jesus let people walk away. He didn’t cave to peer pressure or the fear of losing some of His Flock. He was steadfast and uncompromising. He expects no less from us, and we will be held accountable. Being wishy washy does not save souls. Being blunt, and unapologizing does. That is crucial. Every one of us has that choice, to walk away, or not to walk away. To learn and grow in our understanding of the Faith that Jesus left us, or to decide that we have better and more important things to do, like be popular, accepted, and unoffending. Jesus offended. Jesus was not popular at the end of his Earthly life. Jesus was rejected. Truth will be rejected by those who are not close to Jesus. This is because those not close to Jesus are not interested in God’s will but only their own, and oftentimes real Truth stands in the way of those relativistic and self-defined truths. Those closest though to Jesus remained. Those apostles, except for Judas Iscariot, became Saints. Judas walked away. Judas denied and did not recognize Truth. He sought only his own relative and individual Truth and will, and that self-righteous, prideful and self absorbed “truth” got in the way, and then destroyed him.
I want to be like Jesus. He is very clear that those who deny Him, he will deny to the Father. Why are we more worried about offending people rather than offending God? It is difficult to stand for Truth, we all want to be accepted, liked and popular, but as I already said, being truly Christlike, is not going to be easy. It certainly wasn’t for Jesus.