Mk 12:35-37 Jesus Is Lord
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As Jesus was teaching in the temple area he said, “How do the scribes claim that the Christ is the son of David? David himself, inspired by the Holy Spirit, said: The Lord said to my lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I place your enemies under your feet.’ David himself calls him ‘lord’; so how is he his son?” The great crowd heard this with delight.
Throughout the entire week, we have read how the Pharisees, scribes, chief priests, elders and Herodians were attempting to trip Jesus up. They never succeeded. They never arrested his ideas. They only succeeded in arresting him, and only temporarily.
Christ taught the crowd and the crowd was delighted. Finally, they thought, someone who speaks to us from the heart. Someone who not only believes but witnesses to the truth they preach.
But what is even more impressive, more impressive than a heart-filled preacher or a person who lives what they preach, is a person who can relate the truth of the Word of God and the Word made flesh with the confusing words coming from the crowd. That is an achievement!
I recently read from the Public Research Institute that 62% of millennial Catholics (born between 1988 and 1994) say “present-day Christianity is judgmental”. I have a few problems with this. It is one thing to say to someone “You’re so judgmental”, but it’s actually a much smarter thing to be able to recognize how judgmental that statement you made is.
I don’t have a problem calling some of our youth very judgmental because I’m judgmental too. It takes one to know one. And I know plenty of them. I know how quick they are to judge their mom or their dad or their teacher or their friends. So, I don’t find it surprising in the least that they would be so judgmental to their Church? It’s who they are! So let them! Let them learn from their mistakes, unless it kills them.
I know enough to know they love their parents when they let them get what they want. I know enough of them to know they hate their parents when they don’t get what they want. Why would the Church, Holy Mother Church, not suffer the same growing pains parents suffer from?
I know our youth are happy with their Church when the Church judges something to be good and right that they think it’s good and right. I think the problem begins when their Church declares something to be bad or wrong when they think it’s good for them and it’s their right. That’s when the Church becomes “judgmental”! But it’s actually the moment the Body of Christ (or Holy Mother Church), invites them to be meek and humble of heart rather than scornful, threatening or insulting. Only you Lord have the words of eternal life!
But my biggest concern with this survey is the very low percentage (62%) of Catholics who think Christianity is judgmental. I would have hoped and prayed that 100% of our youth would have agreed that Present day Christianity is judgmental. [Notice, they don’t say that “Christians” are judgmental; they say “Christianity” is judgmental]. That’s important because we judge issues, not people! We tell it the way it is, just like Christ. If anything, Christians are far nicer than our “present-day” youth who judge issues poorly and people harshly! Did you ever hear the Holy Father call someone a jerk or stupid? Did the Holy Father ever use an expletive before the word “gay” or “atheist” or “socialist” or “communist”? Did the Holy Father ever speak directly or harshly about a President or Dictator or Puppet?
We are only judge issues and forgive the mistakes that people make. Unlike many of our present day youth, we do not insult or use vulgarities or throw punches or stones or bricks or even pies at our elderly, our parents or friends or teachers or politicians or “enemies” because they take a stand that we oppose.
To never pass judgment on anything would be like never saying anything is right or wrong. It’s like saying to our ancestors: “We have nothing to learn from you! Go back to your dead!” It’s like saying to our history professors, “Who cares if we repeat history!” It’s like saying to our professional Shrink, “I ain’t got nottin to learn from my past mistakes!” God forbid we would be so naïve to think this way.
How funny it is that 38% of our Catholic youth say that Present-day Christianity is not judgmental? How sad it is that more than 25% of our Catholic youth leave the Church by the age of 24. Do they think it is different from ‘Ancient-day’ Christianity?
Here it is! Here is the biggest problem facing our youth: no one dares teach them right from wrong, good from evil, holy from unholy. Today it’s all about diversity! It’s the key word! A local Catholic school prides itself by saying, “We are a ‘diverse’ school.” We are proud of our “diversity”. That’s right! Actually…that’s neither right nor wrong. No one is wrong. No one is right. Nothing is bad. Nothing is good. If we were only talking about a child’s height or race I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I wouldn’t have a problem with it because it isn’t a problem. But that’s not the problem. It’s not a child’s height or race we are discussing. It’s a Catholic child’s faith. And a child’s faith will determine the important decisions they make and the serious consequences they take. Their faith will determine how well they live the rest of their life: for better, for worse, in sickness or health, death or eternal life.
Our present-day Catholic youth that come from our Catholic Universities appear to never get more than a scratch from the sword that is the Word. Although many of our youth participate in “Social Justice” missions almost none participate in Gospel missions: Go throughout the whole world and preach the Good News. As a result, our Social Justice has become their Peace Corp. It’s all about doing some good and feeling some good about oneself without ever experiencing the pain that Christ experienced: rejection. It’s become a safe way to win the approval of the crowds while never getting the opportunity to have stones thrown at you for preaching the Good News. There is nothing wrong with the Peace Corp. But there is something even greater to offer in His Corp while in His Church and School.
To bring clean water to poor areas is great. To bring people to baptism is even greater. There is nothing wrong with sharing some of our bread and wine. But our Lord would love to share his Body and Blood. There is nothing wrong with fundraising to remove a sadistic leader as the head of a child army. But don’t we have kids with guns here? Don’t we have kids here with all the clean water in the world but no clear idea of who Jesus Christ is?
Jesus is not a social worker. He is much more. Jesus is not a revolutionary. He is much, much more. Jesus is not a protest marcher or a liberal or a conservative. He is much, much more. JESUS is LORD. He is the same, yesterday, present-day, forever. Our Catholic youth need to know that NOW.