daily biblical sermons

Fr. Steven Scherrer, MM, ThD
Homily of Friday, 32nd Week of the Year, November 17, 2017
Wisdom 13:1-9, Psalm 18, Luke 17:26-37

Scripture quotations are from the Revised Standard Version unless otherwise noted.


"As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26-27).

When the Lord Jesus Christ returns again in all his glory on the clouds of heaven with all his saints in great light, it will be a sudden and brilliant event that every eye will see. When it happens, it will be so sudden that there will be no time to prepare oneself or to repent. Only those who are already prepared will be saved. Therefore, since no one knows when he will come, we should always be prepared for his coming.

Those who are living a life of sin should repent and remove themselves from their sinful ways now while they still have time, for when the Lord comes, it will be too late to do anything but receive our reward or punishment from God for how we are caught by his coming, whether it be in a state of grace or of sin.

Those who mislead others now by their false teaching will be judged with special severity, especially those who are leaders of the Christian community. And those Christians who meekly and timidly follow deceptive and worldly Christian leaders will receive the just fruit of their erroneous and sinful life. They have lived wrongly and cast away Jesus' words and commandments and have rather followed the easy but deceptive and false ways of the world.

It will be for us as it was in the days of Noah. The people were evil. They had perverted themselves and were living in sin, so the Lord suddenly destroyed them all, not giving them any way to save their life, nor did they have any time to repent. As they were all suddenly swept away by the waves and the flood, "so will it be in the days of the Son of man" (Luke 17:26).

And how about us? How many of us are living lives of sin? How many are living in a state of grave sin, disobeying the commandments of God? How many are living in adultery, men who have wives but are living in an active sexual relationship with a woman who is not their wife. How many try to justify themselves by false modern moral theories that contradict God's laws and his clear revelation? How many try to justify adultery by the specious reasoning that the natural law that condemns adultery and the sixth commandment that condemns it and the words of Jesus that condemn it are only "a source of objective inspiration for the deeply personal process of making decisions" (Amoris Laetitia 305).

This is a new theory of morality that is now being proclaimed in the Church. Divine law is replaced by one's subjective conscience. So according to this new theory, I have to decide for myself what is right for me, even in fundamental moral matters that are governed by divine law, such as adultery and fornication. According to this novel theory, no one objective rule can apply to everyone, because individual situations are so different. So I have to take all the extenuating and mitigating factors of my particular situation into account, dialogue in my mind and heart with God's objective natural law (his revealed moral law) and then in the depths of my heart, guided by the Holy Spirit, make my own decision as to what is right for me, regardless of whether or not divine law and the words of Jesus condemn it. And any decision that I make in the depth of my heart will be what I should do, will be God's will for me, will be what God is leading me to do, will be all that God is asking of me at this point in my life, given the mitigating circumstances in my life, even if what I decide to do is against the Ten Commandments and against the clear commandments of Jesus, even if what I decide to do is to commit adultery or fornication.

Furthermore, according to this new theory, my pastor should accompany me in my process of discernment and should not oppose my own final decision, and should accept and approve of whatever I decide, for the power of decision is mine, and it is to be accepted as correct and as God's will for me, whatever it is.

Having then made my decision to commit adultery or fornication or to live in a constant state of the deadly sin of adultery, I should be accepted as a Christian and a Catholic in good standing, and my pastor must then allow me to regularly receive Holy Communion and the sacrament of reconciliation without any intention whatsoever of repenting for my sin and amending my life, because I am acting correctly and doing all that God is asking of me now at this point of my life, even though it falls short of objective divine law.

How many people believe this new false moral theory today? How many bishops are now teaching this today? The bishops of Germany, Malta, the Philippines, and Argentina are teaching this today. The bishop of Chicago, of Newark, of San Diego, and of Washington DC are also teaching this today. They all quote Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia on marriage (published on April 8, 2016) as teaching and permitting this, and Pope Francis wrote a private letter to the bishops of Argentina, who have accepted this new theory, congratulating them on their interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, saying that there is no other interpretation but theirs.

A tremendous number of pleas of cardinals, bishops, theologians, priests, and lay professors of theology have been sent to Pope Francis, begging him to condemn this novel false moral teaching, which bishops and cardinals who agree with it say comes from Pope Francis' Exortation Amoris Laetitia. But Pope Francis refuses to say anything about it except to condemn those who have made these petitions as rigid, pharisaical, legalistic fundamentalists.

Furthermore, the pope has demolished the John Paul II Institute in Rome, which teaches moral theology according to the natural law and divine moral law. He has thrown out its constitution, fired all its members, and appointed new members, most of whom agree with this novel moral theory, and then kept the same name for the institute, the John Paul II Institute, but its purpose now is to teach and promote this new moral theory.

So how prepared are we for the sudden coming of the Son of man? How many are living in mortal sin now because of this new moral theory? How many have eased their conscience by this new moral theory and so now feel free to commit adultery or fornication? And how will those who are teaching and spreading this theory be judged when the Lord comes?

"As it was in the days of Noah, so will it be in the days of the Son of man. They ate, they drank, they married, they were given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all" (Luke 17:26-27).



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