A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Faithful to truth

Some people love being judgmental. They get actual pleasure – a rush of self-aggrandizing superiority – by making clear and forceful denunciations of the moral failures of others (real or perceived).

This is not the exclusive domain of the “religious right.” Political liberals can be just as judgmental in their own particular ways (even social liberals and atheists).

In today’s Gospel (John 12:44-50), our Lord gives us a better way and a better example.

I came into the world as light,
so that everyone who believes in me
might not remain in darkness.

And if anyone hears my words
and does not observe them,
I do not condemn him,
for I did not come to condemn the world
but to save the world.

Whoever rejects me
and does not accept my words
has something to judge him:
the word that I spoke,
it will condemn him on the last day,
because I did not speak on my own,
but the Father who sent me
commanded me what to say and speak.

And I know that his commandment is eternal life.
So what I say,
I say as the Father told me.

If Christ did not condemn, how can we sinners condemn others?

Yet although Christ did not speak words of direct condemnation, he was unabashedly honest about the truth, for he “came into the world as light” and spoke “as the Father told him.”

So too we must be honest and clear about the truth that comes from God, letting his light shine in this darkening world.

Moreover, we must not speak the truth of God simply to fulfill our obligation to the truth, just as Christ “did not come to condemn the world, but to save the world.”

We must be faithful to the truth and to our mandate to make disciples.

Will that truth ultimately condemn those who hear and do not accept it? Yes, but we leave them in the hands of God: our goal must be to help them accept it in its fullness.

We must do this boldly and yet with humility, keenly aware of our own imperfections and sinfulness and also keenly aware of the great need for God’s truth in the world around us.

Sinners that we are, we dare not be judgmental yet neither dare we withhold the message of truth and salvation, rather we must do everything we can – using every bit of intelligence and charity we have – to share that truth with others so that they might accept it and be saved by the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.