(Part 191)


July 29, 2016

Today’s reading:  Jeremiah 26:1-9

Political correctness is the bane in our Church today. It is not speaking to people about their sin, but just being welcoming and accepting. It is seeking not to offend, exclude or insult others, which may happen when people are confronted with their sin. At times this is thought of as mercy. But this is a false mercy, as it leaves people in their sin, and away from the salvation of God.

There are many Catholics, both lay and cleric, who are politically correct. They are there in our parishes and chanceries. Their reaction to someone who speaks openly about sin, for example about how same-sex unions are intrinsically evil, is oftentimes “violent.” This is how priests and laypeople reacted to Jeremiah after he prophesied. “Now the priests, the prophets, and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord. When Jeremiah finished speaking all that the Lord commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests, the prophets, and all the people laid hold of him, crying, ‘You must die! Why do you prophesy in the name of the Lord” (v.7-9a).

What had Jeremiah prophesied about? The Lord told him to speak about the people’s sin, and to warn them about the consequences of persisting in sin. “Say to them: Thus says the Lord: If you do not obey me, by walking according to the law I set before you and listening to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I kept sending you, even though you do not listen to them, I will treat this house like Shiloh, and make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.” (v.4-6). Sin invites punishment.

But God is merciful and loving. God rather wants people to repent of sin than to bear the painful consequences of sin. So speaking about sin is intended for people to realize their sin and to amend their lives. “Perhaps they will listen and turn, all of them from their evil way, so that I may repent of the evil I plan to inflict upon them for their evil deeds.” (v.3). Speaking directly about sin is intended for the good of the sinner. On the other hand, not speaking about sin because of political correctness is a failure in love for the sinner.

We are all called to be prophets. We should speak for God and His righteousness. This is especially critical in our Church today, where many Catholics are lost, confused and mired in sin. Priests should preach against sin, specifically about sins of sexual immorality, which are so prevalent today among Catholics. Laypeople should speak as well. “Thus says the Lord: Stand in the court of the house of the Lord and speak to the inhabitants of all the cities of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord; whatever I command you, tell them, and hold nothing back.” (v.2).

Tell them. Hold nothing back. Do not be politically correct.

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