Gospel Reflection for Saturday, February 27th. 2021 — Matthew 5:43-48
Scripture is riddled with difficult teachings and sayings. Today, we are presented with one of the more troubling, that is from a secular worldview.
Those with a secular life perspective will look at today’s text and laugh. It is much easier to show love, compassion, and mercy to those you like or who are nice to you. I can tell you from personal experience that it is multiple levels of magnitude harder to be nice, let alone pray for those who have a history of doing things that harm you, or your family. How is it even possible to pray for those who are actively persecuting us?
That’s today’s lesson in a nutshell. What virtue is there in only being nice to those who are nice to you? Even the unbelievers do that. When Jesus was challenged by the Scribes and Pharisees who asked him what was “the Greatest Commandment”? His response was simple and direct; love both God and neighbor. Our Lord didn’t put any qualifiers on that. He didn’t say to only love those who were your friends.
To the wisdom of this modern world, this whole “love your neighbor as yourself” is really only applicable as long as it suits their need or fulfills their manipulative, socialist agenda. To our socialist, progressive comrades, even many within the Church, the teachings of today’s gospel are little more than an endorsement of their socialist vision of open borders and the elimination of national prerogatives.
What else could possibly explain the hue and cry for open borders and providing financial assistance for all who can manipulate their way into our borders, while they remain conspicuously mute regarding suicidal veterans, and the homeless and hungry we already have?
For nearly seven years now I’ve been an evangelist for Authentic Faith, encouraging Catholic Christians to become a people of word and sacrament so that they may correctly understand the word of scripture -- and withstand the lies of modernism.
Just like the first recorded deception in the Garden of Eden, in their so-called enlightenment and pride, radical politicians believe that their twisting of the truth is for the greater good. How sad is it that multitudes would rather believe lies of the evil one rather than the wisdom from above?
God understands the needs of national sovereignty. Throughout the Old Testament, we find God building a nation set apart from others. God in that day understood the need for protecting his people from those with evil intentions. Just as today, I am certain that His word in no way can be used to advocate any nation to knowingly allow dangerous criminals and would-be enemy combatants into their borders. Any so-called wisdom to the contrary is utter foolishness and contrary to a spirit-filled reading of scripture.
Our gospel reading today is a continuation of the “Sermon on the Mount” where Jesus is preaching to a multitude of people. He is preaching about their personal responsibility in dealing with the challenges of their day. Chief among the issues these people were dealing with was the occupying forces of the Roman Empire. The Israelites of that day were being persecuted for their faith. Jesus' attitude towards these oppressors was to be one of kindness and love.
One thing this scripture was absolutely not teaching or encouraging is a theology of national suicide in the name of being a people of God.
Yes, without contradiction or equivocation, we as Christ-centered, people of God, are to show compassion to those in need and those who treat us poorly; we are taught by Christ to be loving even towards those who would persecute us for the sake of our faith! What this does not present is an encouragement to provide unlimited, unfettered access to our nation from enemy combatants, drug cartels, and others who are a clear and present danger to our society, health, and safety.
The false narrative coming from the wisdom of the world is that any sort of laws, rules, or regulations regarding immigration is; xenophobic, racist, and unchristian. In their minds, this makes perfect sense because it feeds into their agenda of eliminating national borders. Nations of the European Union are reeling as the result of open borders. Violence, social unrest, and crime from Muslim immigrants are at epidemic proportions. What to the minds of many started out as a pragmatic approach to societal engineering has degraded into a reshaping and degradation of nations, historic cultures, and community values, mixed with fear and trepidation.
No, those who are authentically Christian, hate no one, including immigrants, and those who would treat us with evil intent. This attitude is Catholic, in that it is part of the universal and historic teachings of those who truly call upon the name of the Lord. This teaching is not limited to the Catholic Church in America, the Roman Catholic Church, or the Churches of Orthodoxy.
However, liberal christians of many denominations and jurisdictions are preaching a false gospel that is intended to guilt us into accepting their progressive agendas.
In my extrapolation, the Jewish leaders of Jesus’ day are analogous to the liberal, democratic, socialist politicians our age — struggling to maintain power and control at any cost, creating laws, rules, and executive orders to fulfill their agenda.
Likewise, christians in the liberal camp, in their new-age wisdom are doing similarly, using guilt and public opinion to transform two thousand years of Church teachings and tradition into something wholly different. This is overwhelmingly evident in the teachings of liberal Old Catholic Churches, the Union of Utrecht, the Churches in the Anglican Communion, and even a growing number of priests and prelates in the Church of Rome.
Moving forward as Christians in this progressive age, we need to be wary of the wisdom of this world. We need to study God’s word in totality, not from a tunnel vision, narrow view perspective. Each of us, myself included needs to be under the mentorship of someone who is guided by the Holy Spirit, teaching the whole word of God. We need to pursue instruction in authentic Christian doctrine, traditional morality, and ancient teachings of the Church.
Though it's not always easy, we here at Saint Nicholas OCC are striving to be that voice in the wilderness of worldly wisdom, crying out “Repent, the kingdom of God is at hand," and praying for the conversion of those who are actively seeking to transform our world into something unholy. Prayerfully, in our own way, we will have a positive impact on our own sphere of influence — shining the light of Truth for all to see.
Lord God, shine your perfect vision of holiness in our lives, casting out the shadow of evil and deception of our age. Our present age is filled with so much hate, help your faithful children to become a shining light of love and compassion for all to see -- even to the point of extending mercy to those who persecute us. AMEN
GOSPEL — Matthew 5:43-48
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers and sisters only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”