By Rev. Fr. Tristan Jasper D. Laforteza
There was a king who wanted to see God. He summoned the priests and wise men and frightened them that if they could not show him God, they would suffer painful consequences. As they were thinking of the way, a shepherd brought the king to a grassland and pointed out the day to the king. The king looked at the sun, but he was angry with the shepherd who might wanted to blind him. But the shepherd explained to the king that the sun was just one of the wonderful things God had done, if the king could not able to look at the Sun, then how can he be able to see God. (Mihalic, II)
Every person has an innermost desire to see and to know God. We all have the yearning to establish a personal relationship with Him.
Nonetheless, as Catholics, we come to know and love God more in the person of our Lord, Jesus Christ, as the Perfect Revelation of God.
However, many still do not believe in Jesus and he admitted such reality in the Gospel from St. Luke (12: 49-53), when he said, “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… “
There are many reasons why Jesus created a division of people from that time to the present. Let me share with you three of those reasons.
Division #1: JESUS, GOD MADE MAN. To this day, many do not believe that Jesus is God himself. For others, Jesus was only a special messenger or prophet underneath the level of God who was sent to the world for a mission. For others, God must be far above, and He should only be looked upon from below. However, our Catechism of the Catholic Church states that, “Christ, being true God and true man, has a human intellect and will, perfectly attuned and subject to his divine intellect and divine will, which he has in common with the Father and the Holy Spirit.”
Division #2: JESUS SHARED MEALS WITH SINNERS. Many cannot believe that a good and holy person will associate with sinners. So people think, even Jesus is wicked and sinful. But is it not a wonderful attribute of God to be merciful, especially to those who have fallen short and sinned? And Jesus made people feel God’s goodness for them. Our Catechism of the Catholic Church states that, “Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God’s own attitude toward them. He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet (589).”
Division #3: JESUS HATED HYPOCRISY. Many were angry with Jesus, most especially the Pharisees, not because Jesus was wrong in his words, but because they felt insulted and offended when Jesus uncovered their religious hypocrisy. Jesus often called the Pharisees as hypocrites for they were show-offs yet wise in the law and, unfortunately, the people followed what they taught. For Jesus, the real antagonist of truth is hypocrisy or deception that is only clean on the outside but impure on the inside. Our Catechism of the Catholic Church states that, “Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and guarding against duplicity, dissimulation and hypocrisy (2505).”
Finally, let me share with you the words of an author, as Catholics “It is better to believe in Jesus now and finding out later that he is not, you won’t lose anything. Rather than, disbelieve Jesus now and finding out later that He is, you will lose everything.”