In today’s Gospel from the Mass (John 12:44-55), Jesus offers a warning to casual and cultural “Christians”:
 And Jesus cried out and said, “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.  And he who sees me sees him who sent me.  I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.  If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings has a judge; the word that I have spoken will be his judge on the last day.  For I have not spoken on my own authority; the Father who sent me has himself given me commandment what to say and what to speak.  And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has bidden me.”
Jesus in the final teaching of His public ministry before the passion has a special warning for those who are casual in their faith. Consider:
- It is critical to put one’s self in the drama of this moment to understand its full impact. Jesus is offering the last address of His public ministry. This is the culminating message that His wishes the masses to understand prior to the Passion. Of particular note, Jesus “cried out”; when God yells, we should all pay attention!
- Jesus first warning is to those who claim to follow Him, but really don’t: “If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them…” These are the “Casual Christians”.
- Jesus goes on to warn others who reject Him outright.
- Both, share the same perilous judgment.
Many claim to follow Jesus, but they really don’t. They are the cultural or casual Christians, who enjoy the “benefits” of being Christian, without really keeping the sayings of Christ. Many operate under the false delusion that one simply has a one-time event of “faith” and that they are saved.
Jesus makes a clear warning in this Gospel; one must demonstrate a lifetime of keeping Jesus’ sayings, for without that kind of commitment, casual Christians will wither in the uncompromising Divine Light of Judgment.
Turn towards the Light and ascend in devotion, piety and holiness through the gift of the Holy Spirt. Before it’s too late.