REFLECTION FOR TODAY
October 8, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
“Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Lk. 11:23.
Jesus casts out devils by the finger of God not by Beelzebul as his detractors claim. He points to this truth in our gospel reference of today. These words of Jesus are embedded within several powerful teachings, but, in many ways, there can stand alone as an important Christian truth. Specifically, it tells us that we cannot be neutral in our position regarding Jesus and all that he has taught us. Being on the fence is not acceptable. We are either for or against.
There is a growing secular value call “neutrality.” We are told by many in the world that we must accept any morality, any lifestyle, any choice that others make. Though it is true that we must always love and accept every person and treat them with the utmost dignity and respect, it is not true that we should be neutral to the choices and secular values that some choose to live and express. Sadly, when we do speak the full truth, especially the many moral truths our Lord has revealed, we are often labeled as judgmental which is not the truth.
We cannot remain indifferent to the teachings of our Lord and remain in his God graces. In fact, Jesus makes it clear that the opposite is true. He says that if we are not with him, meaning, if we do not accept all that he has revealed, then we are, in fact, against him. Being neutral on matters of faith and morality is not actually being neutral at all. It’s a choice that some make that has the clear effect of separating them from Jesus. What choice have we made in matters of faith and morality?
In matters of faith, you can’t, “I do not believe in the eucharist,” and the same time not implying rejecting God. or in matters of morality be oppose to the many moral teaching of our Lord and not opposed to Jesus. Yes it may not be our duty to judge, it is our duty to acknowledge that they have expressed a belief contrary to the truth faith and morality. The truth of faith must be said and uphold irrespective of what society promotes.
Jesus wants to clear out any bondage we experience so that there will be more room in us for the Trinity. He wants to place a sign over every room of our heart so there will be no place for “neutrality”. He wants to see us so filled with the Holy Spirit so we can take a stand for Him and reflect the character of God to people in matters of faith and morality.
Jesus says, “whoever does not gather with me scatters.” In other words, it’s not enough to simply personally believe all that Jesus taught, we must also teach it to others. If we do not and if we, instead, offer a false form of “acceptance” of another’s error, then we are working against Jesus. We all have a moral duty to actively promote the truths of the gospel given to us by our lord.
Reflect, today, upon how fully you are “with” our Lord and “gather” with him. Do you fully accept all that he has taught and seek to gather many others for the kingdom of God? If you do not see yourself actively believing in and participating in the mission of our lord, then heed these words of Jesus and allow them to challenge you gently but firmly, so that you will more fully work to build up god’s kingdom in your own heart and in the world all around you.
Lord, you desire to build up your kingdom in my life and, through me, in the lives of others. Give me the grace and courage I need to fully accept all that you have taught me and to actively become an instrument of your grace and truth in the world. May I be with you in all things, dear lord, and gather many into your loving arms of grace. Jesus, I trust in you.