by Fr Richard Heilman | November 5, 2020 5:11 AM
In today’s Gospel, Jesus seems to be completely out of character:
Great crowds were traveling with Jesus,
and he turned and addressed them,
“If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
wife and children, brothers and sisters,
and even his own life,
he cannot be my disciple.
Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:25-27)
WHAT?! Hate who?!
Wait! What about when Jesus said this?!
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.” (Matthew 5:29-30)
Tear out what?! Cut off what?!
Wait! There is more! What do we make of this?!
“You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.” (Matthew 12:34)
“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are. Woe to you, blind guides!” (Matthew 23:15-16)
Brood of vipers?! Hypocrites?! Blind guides?! Jesus seems pretty harsh here. Is that the right “manner and tone?”
Why am I drawing attention to this aspect of Jesus? Because, while Jesus was, most certainly, a kind and gentle soul, there were many times He was not afraid of offending A LOT of people. Why? Because He TRULY loved them, and there were times He needed to stress the seriousness of situations by being very direct and clear, not holding back in the intensity of his delivery. Jesus cared more about the Truth than being liked.
In other words, Jesus modeled for us to be “fighters!” We may not win popularity contests for our clarity, and even our intensity, but there are times when situations are so SERIOUS that we simply must bring everything we can to sound the alarm!
This brings me to the SERIOUS times in which we now live.
According to the Federalist:
Former Vice President Joe Biden ran his presidential campaign on a pro-late-term abortion, pro-child sex-change, pro-gay marriage, pro-contraception mandate platform. Two of these positions stand in direct defiance of the Catholic Church’s “five non-negotiables,” one targets Catholic nuns, hospitals and adoption agencies, and the other targets children.
Not satisfied, Biden chose Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate, despite her claim that membership in a Catholic organization is a disqualifier from becoming a federal judge.
Yet, it is estimated that a MAJORITY of Catholics just voted for this blatantly anti-Catholic Party. Why? Because no Catholic leader, by way of Jesus-like manner and tone, stressed the SERIOUSNESS of this situation.
While there are 260 bishops in the USA, there were an estimated 21 bishops who did teach that abortion is a preeminent issue, when considering our vote. Interesting that this is 1/12th of the bishops (one Apostle stayed with Jesus at the Cross – John the Beloved). However, what was missing was a “manner and tone” to stress the seriousness of this matter.
In fact, this past Summer, my very good friend, Fr. James Altman, was admonished for his “manner and tone” because of a ten-minute video that now has over 1.1 million views (See HERE). Being publicly rebuked, Fr. Altman was warned: “… particularly on abortion and other life issues, we should invite dialogue and heart-felt conversion to the truth. Our approach must never seek to divide, isolate and condemn” (of course, Fr. Altman “condemned” nobody). Really? Did Jesus model this “high priority” of fearing division and isolation? In fact, Jesus answered this himself: “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division” (Luke 12:51). And this, “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you” (John 15:18).
This is what we lost! This is why we are in this condition! We are passing through an era that emphasized Jesus as an effeminate hippie, who never offended anybody. Now, it seems, everyone is “triggered” by clarity of truth, emphasized by an intensity of “manner and tone.”
Think about this … The President’s so-called “base,” hale from the center of the country. Who is there? Strong, moral, faith-filled people who understand that, when raising their children, it is sometimes necessary to be their drill sergeant, rather than their “pal,” when it comes to “serious matters.” This is why they are not offended by the “manner and tone” of this President. On the contrary, they root him on in his intensity of manner and tone, especially standing against such ferocious and widespread evil advancing rapidly.
And, why does Fr. James Altman’s video have over 1.1 million views? Because people are LONGING for this kind of intensity in his manner and tone, as he sounds the alarm of just how serious is our current state of affairs!
Bishops, evil is advancing as never before, while a multitude of souls are being lost to their demonic agenda. Now is NOT the time to do the “Effete Hippie Thing” but, maybe as never before, now is the time to do the “Rugged and Tough and Clear and Intense Jesus Thing!”
We all must …
I spoke to this in today’s sermon:
Source URL: https://usgraceforce.com/jesus-was-not-afraid-of-offending-jesus-was-no-effete-hippie-bishops/
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