will be denied before the angels of God.
Thus says the Lord Jesus at the beginning of today’s Gospel (Luke 12:8-12).
Chilling words. Eternally chilling.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, be merciful to me – a sinner.
The question posed to us by these words is this:
Have I denied Christ before others?
Denying Christ does not require a formal, public act of apostasy.
Actually, denying Christ is much simpler and easier than that, especially in this politically correct world where references to faith and to God are openly or implicitly declared inappropriate: in politics, in the workplace, in schools, in hospitals or even among friends.
It is so easy just to get along, even if it means never letting the name of God pass our lips except as a curse or as an unconscious and unreligious utterance; even if it means only mentioning religious practices as anthropological or sociological phenomena; even if it means laughing along with blasphemy and sacrilege; even if it means downplaying or denying the full meaning of faith in our life; even if it means sinning.
Does that mean we should always brandish our faith like a crusader’s sword, eager to drive it into the bowels of an infidel at every chance?
Faith is to be lived and shared: not brandished and never forced.
As in most things, discernment is critical.
Also, faith is to be lived, shared, and spoken with true charity – not “do-gooder” charity, not feelings-based charity, not “whatever you want” charity, but the kind of charity exemplified by Christ dying on the cross and rising in the power of the Holy Spirit.
I tell you,
everyone who acknowledges Me before others
the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God.