“Controversy.” Can you say that with your mouth closed? … Sunday, August 18

The God mostly pray in touch the legs in heart...

Controversy. For some it is a world-view, for others a lifestyle.

The Gospel of the LordLuke 12:49-53

Jesus said to his disciples: “I have come to set the earth on fire and how I wish it were already blazing! There is a baptism with which I must be baptized, and how great is my anguish until it is accomplished! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. From now on a household of five will be divided, three against two and two against three; a father will be divided against his son and a son against his father, a mother against her daughter and a daughter against her mother, a mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

~

Jesus is controversial, and you can’t follow Him, successfully, without accepting this as one of the crosses that goes along with discipleship. It was that way with Jesus walking the earth 2,000 years ago, it’s that way now with Him residing in the Tabernacle. Every point of Christ‘s Faith, Christianity, has been, is, and will be contested. Why?

Why do people argue and debate things? Some do it out of honest misunderstanding, others out of pure spite without regard for the truth, many out of a desire to have their own way regardless of the facts (there is, you’ll recall, a Flat Earth Society). There are lots of reasons. None of them are, ultimately, sound, or good for the people involved with the half-truths. A half-truth? It might get a person halfway to Heaven. I’m pretty certain that going there halfway will, bluntly, be a hell of a way to go.

There will be arguments, debates, divisions, and all the hurt feelings and ill-will that go with these. Jesus is controversial and fallen human nature is perverse. My own conversion is a case in point. My family, my grandfather in particular, was adamantly anti-Catholic. I converted after Granddad‘s death. One of my aunts, who was one of his daughters, made the comment, “I can’t understand how you could join something that Daddy was so much against.” Well, the obvious answer is that he won’t be the one to stand before God at my death and give account for my life. I’m the one, the only one, responsible for that. Granddad couldn’t go to Heaven, Purgatory, or hell for me. He can’t keep me out of any of those places either. If I’d explained these things I can almost guarantee that the next sentence I’d have heard would have been prefaced with the word “but”. Controversy. Even when there is no reason for it.

So what’s my point? Oh, its simple. Jesus is controversial. Your life will be too as you follow Him. Expect it and be ready for it. What to do when confronted with controversy? There are any number of possibilities, but many instances one of the things that works best is to just not take part. Letting the other person stew in their own juices does two things. Number one, it gives them a reason to think. (I remember someone coming up to me one day, I was talking with another guy, and the one who walked up said, “I’m a fill-in-the-blank. I guess you don’t approve of that.” He obviously said this because he knew I was Catholic. I just looked at him and kept on talking. So he said, “You just blew me off.” And it was the other guy that looked at him and let him know that in this situation? Mine had been an appropriate Christian response.) Number two, it gives us an opportunity to be Christ-like. When confronted with a useless controversy (and some obviously aren’t useless, like the right to life or religious freedom, and do require a definite response and there’s no good way around this) turning the other cheek works wonders. And its best accomplished with the mouth closed.

 

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2 Comments

  1. That is so true to just say nothing ..How many times as Catholics have we been put in a position like that …I can’t tell you how many times I have been told JESUS had brothers and I just say nothing because all they want to do is argue ..so amen my friend ..we agree again .:)
    have a blessed day

    • Keeping my mouth shut is probably the hardest thing I do. lol 😉


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