WEDNESDAY, TWENTY NINTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Rom 6: 12-18; Ps 124: 1-8; Lk 12: 39-48
IGNORANCE IS NO EXCUSE
I would like to focus on one statement of the Lord: “That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely, and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly.” The question before us is this: Can a Christian count among the latter, the ignorant who are treated with leniency? Every Christian, though taught basic catechism, does not receive the extensive theological training in the interpretation of the Scriptures and ecclesiastical doctrine that the priests and leaders of the Church do. Does this, therefore, make them eligible for leniency? The answer lies in the words of the Lord that follow: “Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
Ignorance is of two types. The first belongs to those who have not been given the opportunity to know the Lord, His Gospel and His Church; to them, much has not been entrusted. They do not carry the name of Christian because they have never encountered the good news of Christ for no fault of their own. They can be excused. But to every Christian has been entrusted the Church, through which the Lord sanctifies and saves, the Church offers so many means for a Christian to grow in knowledge of the Scriptures and of theological doctrine – the Church documents, Scriptural reflections, spiritual books, theology courses and spiritual direction. A Christian therefore, who pleads ignorant in the face of the wrong is guilty of a second kind of ignorance, the kind where one can know but does not want to take the trouble to; i.e., willful ignorance. There is no fee for asking a priest for guidance. There is a severe judgement however for those who take lightly what has been entrusted to them, whitewashing their spiritual laxity with the excuse of ignorance.
Response: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
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