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(Part 166)


February 18, 2018

Today’s readings:
Genesis 9:8-15
Psalm 25:4-9
1 Peter 3:18-22
Mark 1:12-15

God hates sin and wickedness, and punishes these. People were so evil during the time of Noah, and God sent a flood to destroy them all, except for Noah’s family. Sin is an affront against God and the covenant between Him and His people. But God is also merciful, and is mindful of His covenant with His people. “I will remember my covenant between me and you and every living creature­every mortal being­so that the waters will never again become a flood to destroy every mortal being.” (Gn 9:15).

Today God’s people are again into serious sin, especially sins of sexual licentiousness. We have not just a flood but a tsunami of evil overwhelming the whole world. Sex is rampant among those in irregular unions­those who are living in, the divorced and remarried, and those in same-sex unions. The first is fornication, the second adultery, and the third sodomy. This latter caused the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

But there are prelates and clerics who propose just accepting and embracing those in such irregular situations, and not speak about their sin. This is the scourge of political correctness. They will be given Holy Communion without their renouncing their sin and resolving to change. This is done in the name of mercy. God is indeed good and merciful. “Remember your compassion and your mercy, O Lord, for they are ages old. Remember no more the sins of my youth; remember me according to your mercy, because of your goodness, Lord.” (Ps 25:6-7). But is being politically correct true mercy?

What is the core message of the authentic gospel of Jesus? It is this: “Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mk 1:15b). It is directly addressing the sin of people, and getting them to repent. It is not just accepting, embracing and accompanying them while not speaking about their sin. This results in not only keeping them in their sin, but in effect making them comfortable in their sin. This is the very antithesis of the gospel.

Now the politically correct appeal to the primacy of conscience, that if a Catholic’s conscience allows him to receive Communion despite his serious sin, then he may do so. Conscience indeed is important, but it must be formed well. Peter tells us that baptism “is not a removal of dirt from the body but an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Pt 3:21). Conscience needs to be clear and formed. It is formed in accord with the resurrection of Jesus, who went to the cross to atone for the sins of humankind, and by his rising won forgiveness and reconciliation with God. Conscience can never accommodate sin.

Today the consciences of many Catholics are not formed well, and they are not clear on what is authentic Church teaching. This is aggravated by prelates and clerics who condone sinful behavior by being politically correct toward sinners. So this is a challenge. Consciences need to be formed, and formed according to the Magisterium of the Church, and not just the opinion or unsound theology of this or that prelate or cleric.

Our prayer, and the prayer of pastors of the Church, must be: “Make known to me your ways, Lord; teach me your paths. Guide me by your fidelity and teach me, for you are God my savior, for you I wait all the day long.” (Ps 25:4-5). Repentance is all about God’s ways and not ours. It is all about returning to God and walking in His paths. It is about faithfulness to the covenant. It is about knowing that Jesus is our Savior, who died for our sins and who expects us to turn away from sin in order to experience the salvation he already won for us.

Those who are politically correct are not faithful pastors, and they continue to lead the sheep astray. The Lord’s way is different. “Good and upright is the Lord, therefore he shows sinners the way.” (Ps 25:8). The Lord is upright and leads sinners in the way they are to go. If we humble ourselves, desiring to be cleansed of sin and be holy, then God will indeed show us the way. “He guides the humble in righteousness, and teaches the humble his way.” (Ps 25:9). That way can never be political correctness nor a flawed conscience.

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