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Friday, April 17, 2015

The Same Error

So, I’m reading in Mark’s gospel where we learn of the Lord's betrayal, capture, and crucifixion. In chapter 14, Jesus said to His disciples: For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born” (14:21).

I stopped at that verse and thought of Judas. The betrayer was right there among the disciples when Jesus warned of the consequences of turning against Him.

And then my thoughts took me to chapter 2 in Hebrews. There, the Holy Spirit warns the Church : “. . . we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it. For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation?” (verses 1-3).

And then again in chapter 10: “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment . . . It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (verses 26-31)
St. Mark tells us Judas heard every word of the Lord’s warning. Every syllable. But he ignored it.

So let us pray, especially when we come together as the Body of Christ, let us pray for those who hear God’s warning week after week, that they not make the same terrible error and ignore Him.


Georgia said...

I pray that I might never take lightly the gift I've been given through Christ. But it also terrifies me how cavalierly so many in the pulpit treat the holiness, righteousness, and justice of God. He is not someone to be trifled with. Just ask Achan in Joshua 7.

Rich Maffeo said...

It angers me, more than frightens me. As for Achan, I think a lot of the problem regarding our cavalier attitudes is rooted in one of several reasons:

1. How many even know the story?
2. If they know the story, how many think it fable and not historical?
3. If they think it historical, how many brush it aside with the comment: "That's how the god of the Old Testament reacted. The God of the New Testament is full of love, and would never do such terrible things to people.

It was God speaking through Hosea who said, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (of God's word) (4:6). What I overlooked for many years was it was THE PRIESTS (the religious leaders) who were ignorant of God's word -- and who, by their example, taught the sheep to also be ignorant.

And so, we continue seeking teachers who will tickle our ears and tell us things we want to hear (e.g. 2 Timothy 4:2-3).

Oh, Lord! Give us revival.

Barb Schoeneberger said...

I recall that some bishops at lunch with Pope JPII asked if the faithful who didn't really understand the teachings of the Church and thus sinned would go to hell. The Pope is said to have paused for a moment and then said, "No, but their bishops will."

I wrote a recent post on my latest holy card project which is "A Prayer for Priests". It has a 1954 imprimatur from Cardinal Spellman of NY and is my most favorite prayer for priests. I am going to meet with my pastor soon and ask that we pray this prayer in unison after every Mass. It is true that we are 100% responsible for educating ourselves as best we can in the Faith, but we need guidance from our shepherds. I have yet to hear any pastor tell the people at Mass to go home and read the Bible every day. I did have a really good pastor years ago who told everyone week after week to get a copy of the CCC and read it. Many in the parish hated him and persisted in their evil ways.

Rich Maffeo said...

Your last comment reminds me of what St Paul wrote to the Christians at Galatia: Have I become your enemy because I tell you the truth? (Galatians 4:16)

The problem as I see it (and it seems you also see it) is the shepherds are (what I call) criminally negligent in teaching and leading their sheep. Which also reminds me of God's comment to Ezekiel about the Watchmen on the wall in Ezekiel 33.

Oh, how we need revival.