Jesus confronts the multitude to focus on the reality of His Gospel and reconcile with each other. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Prudence so he can better know and live the Truth of Christ in his life and by seeking the Gift of Counsel from the Holy Spirit so he can more frequently be guided by the Spirit in his examination of his conscience.
29th Week in Ordinary time – Friday – Lk 12:54-59
Continuing toward the Passion, Jesus addressed the crowds and His disciples, warning them to avoid hypocrisy, to fear and trust in God, to be vigilant in preparing to be ready to meet Him, and to strive to remain holy. Jesus prepares men for the reality that He has come to force men to choose to be either with Him, or against Him (and with Satan), and that great division will occur in families as many will choose to oppose Him. Jesus now exhorts men to use the reason He gave them and gives some concrete actions men must take as they prepare to meet Him, either at their death or the Second Coming.
Jesus, as a Person of the Trinity, created men and gave Adam the mandate and special ability to oversee Creation (Gen 1-2). Jesus confirms that He has given men systematic thinking skills, with the ability to look at signs and to deduce outcomes (clouds predict rain, wind from the south predicts heat). Jesus rebukes men as hypocrites for not using their God-given analytical skills to recognize the spiritual realities that are readily apparent; for example, the existence of God, Jesus’ presence and miraculous words, the reality of goodness and evil in the world, etc. The Apostle Paul will later echo Christ’s words (Rom 1:19-20).
Jesus exhorts men to come to terms with their own sin and to reconcile with Him while there is still time. He directs each man to examine his own conscience, judge what is right, and admit his guilt. Using an analogy of the familiar human legal system, Jesus warns each man that he has an accuser (a men’s own record of sinfulness) who will drag the man before a judge (Christ); the judge will sentence the guilty to prison (Purgatory, Hell) where the guilty man will stay until he pays the last copper (has been purified of sin, spends eternity in Hell). Despite the ominous warning of their coming judgment, Jesus gives men hope that there is still time to reconcile with Him.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Consider and be motivated to repentance by Jesus’ exhortation to self-examination: Divine Judge and perfection of Justice, Jesus uses a legal analogy (magistrate, judge, punishment, prison) to Warn men with punishment, seeking to motivate men to repent; the perfection of Prudence, Jesus exhorts men to prudently examine (judge) themselves so as to repent and avoid punishment.
Practice prudence to know and live in the Truth
Realize: Jesus urges men to prudently use their God-given systematic thinking skills to discern and live in His Truth.
Believe: Reflect upon Prudence (CCC 1806, 1835) and Discernment (CCC 1787, 1954, 2706, 2826, 2847).
Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Prudence so I diligently apply my reason to study Your Truth in Scripture and the Catechism, I reflect upon it deeply, and I always seek to live Your Truth in my life.
Seek the Spirit’s counsel to guide your conscience
Realize: Jesus’ example of settling with an accuser before coming before a judge, is an exhortation for men to prepare for their own unavoidable Judgment when they die; every Catholic man should frequently examine his conscience, recognize his sins, and make reparation with others to settle conflicts.
Believe: Reflect upon Moral Conscience (CCC 1776-1802).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Counsel so my moral conscience is enlightened by You and I can immediately know and choose to do God’s will in every situation; Holy Spirit, guide me now to examine my conscience, repent, and be forgiven by Jesus Christ in His Sacrament of Penance.