Fr. Steve’s homily (08/30/2015)

Jesus is not a consultant; he is the LORD!
The people of Israel who heard both Christ’s and the Pharisees’ teachings could not follow both. It was becoming clearer by the day, as Jesus went about his public ministry, that he was demanding an undivided allegiance. He was the one declaring “God’s commandment,” and anyone contradicting him was declaring nothing more than “human traditions.” His teachings were not optional addenda; they were not items on a menu that his listeners could choose between based on personal preference or mood; they were the divine truth, and they called for a total commitment, a total faith.
Such was Jesus then, and so he is now: the Lord, not the Consultant.
Most Christians are willing to accept this Lordship of Christ, which is why they call themselves Christians. But not all Christians are willing to accept the simple fact that Jesus has chosen to exercise this lordship through his Catholic Church. That’s why not all Christians are Catholic.
The most fundamental difference between Catholic Christians and non-Catholic Christians (Protestants and Orthodox) is precisely this point. The Church’s teaching is an extension of Christ’s own teaching, an application of God’s revelation to the circumstances of here and now.
This is actually what Jesus said to his Apostles and disciples in the Gospel: “Anyone who listens to you listens to me; anyone who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16). Jesus was the one who established the Church. He is the one who has kept it alive and flourishing, in spite of the human flaws of its members and leaders, for twenty centuries. He is the one who has chosen to continue his presence and mission on earth through the teaching and ministry of the Church.
Following Jesus faithfully, therefore, means following the Church faithfully.
Obedience to him, following God’s will and Church teaching, is nothing to be ashamed of. As Jesus himself put it in John’s Gospel: “If you hold to my teaching… Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32). That’s definitely the claim of the Lord, not a consultant.
Is Jesus YOUR Lord, or is here for you merely a consultant?

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