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(Part 167)


February 19, 2018

Today’s readings:
Leviticus 19:1-18
Psalm 19:8-15
Matthew 25:31-46

A Christian is someone who knows he is called to holiness and so desires to be rid of sin in his life. For Israel, the chosen people of God with whom He entered into covenant, they were told to be holy. “Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” (Lv 19:2b). As part of holiness, they were commanded not to do what was wrong­idolatry, improper sacrifice, neglect of the poor, theft, negative speech, exploitation of others, robbery, dishonesty, slander, hatred, revenge (Lv 19:4-18).

We must hate sin if we are to strive for holiness. And we must know that we need to look to God’s law in order to be formed properly so that we can distinguish right from wrong and be guided by a proper conscience. “The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple.” (Ps 19:8). David goes on saying how good and necessary the law of the Lord is (see Ps 19:9-12).

Since we are looking to the very holiness of God, we know we will fall short. In fact, we should know that we might not even fully recognize what we do wrong or appreciate what is right in the Lord. “Who can detect trespasses? Cleanse me from my inadvertent sins.” (Ps 19:13). This stands in stark contrast to the politically correct pastors who end up aggravating the situation, by making sinners comfortable in their sins, going against age-old teachings of Christ and his Church. Such pastors are not only not helpful but are remiss. The flock should be protected from them, who arrogantly think they know more than God or the Church. “Also from arrogant ones restrain your servant; let them never control me.” (Ps 19:14a). Free from such pastors, the sinner can take the right path and be freed. “Then shall I be blameless, innocent of grave sin.” (Ps 19:14b).

Oftentimes, the politically correct point to mercy as the reason for what they do. Just accept and embrace the sinner, do nothing that will offend them. Since speaking of their sin may be hurting for them, then speak not of their sin. We indeed are to be merciful as God is merciful, but political correctness is false mercy.

Jesus was merciful, especially to the poor. In fact, in his parable on the judgment of the nations, he made this the one criterion on whether one made it to heaven or not. He identified with the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the imprisoned (Mt 25:35-36). He said that whatever we did for them, we did to him. But none of these conditions is sin. The problem with political correctness is the focus on the individual rather than and even apart from God, on the earthly well-being of man rather than his being right with God. In effect, the sinful situation is condoned. Jesus, being fully righteous, and while he took on our sins, would never identify himself with sin. He would not have said, “For I was in a sinful irregular union, and you sought not to offend me by speaking of my sin.” We must never forget that sinners “will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.” (Mt 25:46).

Pastors are to properly guide those entrusted in their care. They are to help them get out of sin and move on to holiness. This will not happen with political correctness. So pastors are warned: “Reprove your neighbor openly so that you do not incur sin because of that person.” (Lv 19:17b).

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