FAST FOOD (AD 2019): Thirty-First Helping
Since the “new commandment” imperatively and irrevocably centers the entire Christian moral life as well as the definition of “love” on the person, words and deeds of Jesus, any understanding of the will of God, of the Way of Jesus, of right and wrong, of good and evil, by those who believe Jesus is Lord, that logically departs from the “new commandment,” cannot be the will of God, the Way of Jesus, right or good. In His “Eleventh Commandment,” His “new commandment,” Jesus commands——that every intentional act, whether it be in the domain of thought, word or deed, be made in conformity with His “new commandment.”
In His Great Commission to the eleven Apostles, to their successors and to the Church (Mt 28:17-20), Jesus says,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And know that I am with you always, even until the end of the age,” (Emphasis added)
The “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you,” segment of Jesus’ Great Commission to the Church has to include, indeed has to rank above all other teachings that must be taught, since the “new commandment” “contains the entire Law of the Gospel” and “expresses the Father’s entire will.” I would ask my reader if, when growing up, this is what he or she was taught by their Churches as the ultimate and definitive norm by which he or she was to discern the will of God in any and every situation?
In most cases in most Churches, most Christians heard of hundreds or thousands of acts that were and were not the will of God. But, they seldom, if ever heard, that the “new commandment” is the final and ultimate norm of the Christian conscience against which all decisions of right and wrong must be measured. If the “new commandment” is not the ultimate norm of morality for the Christian, who or what is a superior ultimate norm of conscience for the Christian?
How many of us Christians were nurtured morally in childhood, in adolescence or in adult life into the moral habitus of mind of continually asking ourselves the simple question, how would Jesus love in this situation? And, why were we not so nurtured by the Church—especially since this is what Jesus explicitly and specifically commissioned and commanded the Church to teach and to do?
-Emmanuel Charles McCarthy.