There are only 2 sides: Which one are you on?
In the Gospel reading from the Mass for today (Luke 11:14-23), Jesus makes it clear that there are only two sides and each person is on one or the other. An excerpt:
“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters” (Luke 11:23).
Jesus offers a very clear assessment of the state of each human’s state:
- In the reading, Jesus has cast out a demon, is accused of being in league with the Devil and then systematically demolishes the accusations through superior logic.
- Jesus ends with the statement in Luke 11:23), that puts things in stark clarity.
- “He who is not with Me is against Me.” Jesus considers those who are not with Him (and the balance of the Trinity, the Father and Holy Spirit), is against Him. This is troubling for Jesus makes it clear that there are only two options: being a disciple of Christ or being in opposition to Christ. He does not offer a middle ground (e.g. I’m neutral, I believe that all religious paths are valid, etc.). Jesus is an exlusivist.
- Worse, Jesus makes it clear that those who think they are on the sidelines are actually on the side of Satan; in the preceding verses from the Gospel, the contrast is between good and evil, God and Satan.
- Jesus makes it clear that if you are not working to unify the world and prepare it for the Kingdom of God, you are seeking to divide the world.
Those who have embraced evil or deny that Jesus is Lord, know who they are and Christ knows who they are. The evil and the rebellious choose their path and will live with the consequences.
In today’s secular world of pluralists and relativists, many think that they are on the sidelines or that being neutral yields them the best possible odds at happiness (or perhaps salvation). Many use the cloak of pluralism to hide from their own sins; by claiming to be accepting, they conveniently can ignore their own sins or the sins of those they love.
But that kind of sloppy thinking is deluded; Jesus, the Son of God makes it clear.
Sides in the worldly and eternal life are being chosen: Who’s side are you on?