There is a lot of misinformation out there as to what Jesus would do, or wouldn’t. Many in the media, commentators, politicians, and talk-show hosts will tout they are Catholic and then proceed to say how they feel Jesus would act or react to certain modern day situations. Too often, they are so wrong. Here’s what we should do as Catholics and get your Catholic high-five.
Don’t predict what Jesus would do
“WWJD” has always drove me nuts because it allows people the freedom to predict what Jesus would do in their personal view, and most often they choose not to use the Biblical view of Jesus. Instead, let’s follow Jesus’s lead and love one another (John 13:34)—that’s the right answer every time.
Who should we love?
We are called to love everyone, it doesn’t matter their race, nationality, gender, religion, or other beliefs. As humans, we are called to love. But Jesus’s love is not human physical love as our modern world uses love. Love is care, kindness, generosity, sympathy, it is not supporting sinful lives or allowing sin to continue. Love is also calling out sin for sin, and working to abolish it.
Remove the plank from your own eye first
Before we can call out others sin, we have to first clean out our own closets, and remove our own sin. This is for two reasons. First, it is humbling to admit we have sinned. We can then sympathize with others who are living with sin, and help them through it because we understand how difficult it is. Second, we don’t want to be hypocrites and be living in sin, while trying to point out sin in others.
About “turning the other cheek”
Calling out sin is painful and heartbreaking. If someone attacks you, don’t attack them back (this is not to say you can’t defend yourself in self-defense). Those in sin will attack back because they don’t want to give up their sin. Instead, stand up to them, be firm in your belief yet kind and gentle in your approach. And pray. Prayer is a very powerful way to move the hardened hearts of those in sin.
Forgive, seventy times seven
Yep, sometimes (oftentimes) we feel like doormats, being walked on again, and again. Jesus tells Peter we are to forgive again, and again. How and why do we do this without being a “doormat”? We forgive no matter what the cost might be to our ego. We keep the door open when a relationship is broken, but it’s acceptable keep that person at a distance until they fully repent and turn away from sin. We can still forgive without letting that person back into our lives to hurt us again. Forgiveness prevents our hearts from becoming hard from anger, and allows the other person to know they can move ahead after hurting someone else.
Sort of being Martha, but only sort of
Jesus tells us we are to here to serve, not to be served. In fact, he demonstrated this by washing the feet of the Apostles. Martha complained to Jesus that Mary wasn’t helping with the serving. The funny thing about this story isn’t that Jesus told Martha that Mary chose the better part by sitting and listening, but that Jesus told her to not fret over all the little things just to keep herself busy. Yes, we are called to serve, but not at the expense of not being able to follow Jesus because we are so worried over the little things.
Imagine if everyone at Church sat like Mary at the feet of Jesus hanging upon his every word. Sometimes, there are so many distractions at Mass, kids drawing our attention way, a random phone going off, people leaving right after Holy Communion, but our lives would be so much richer if we hung on Jesus’s Word, focused upon the Eucharist as it is raised, and really lived what we heard when we are sent out to live the Gospel.