Food for Thought,  Spiritual

The little bit of Pilate within.

I have had this thought on my brain all day today — and I really need to get it out.  It’s getting late and I haven’t even had time to make dinner yet.  The stomach is growling.  But the thought persists and will not be denied!  Bear with me here while I fill you in.

This morning while walking and pondering the sorrowful mysteries as I said my mental rosary – I had one of those ‘ah-hah!’ moments that have been popping up quite frequently lately.  Moments where I gain insight based on looking at something from a perspective that I hadn’t considered before.  This morning that perspective had to do with Jesus being condemned – his interview with Pilate – and Pilate’s inability to do the right thing.  The thought that caught my attention had everything to do with Pilate’s motivation behind his actions.  If Pilate found no fault in Jesus, no crime to convict him of — why condemn him to death?  Simply stated – it was the path of least resistance. Literally.  Pilate didn’t want to rock the boat.  He didn’t want chaos, or disorder, or a rebellion, or an angry mob.  He didn’t want his boss to question his ability to maintain control.  It was so much easier for Pilate to just ‘give the people what they want’, wash his hands of the entire mess, and walk away.

That’s what started me thinking …  this is where the ‘ah-hah!’ comes in.  I have to ask myself — is there a little bit of Pilate within us all? How many of us have opted to not correct someone’s misconception of the Church / our faith / belief in God because we simply didn’t want the confrontation or the argument?  How many of us have compromised our obligations to children or family members with regard to the Catholic faith because again – it’s easier to just let it slide or give in this once or twice or thirty-three times? Have we ever thought ‘I am just too tired to deal with this for now’ or ‘It’s not worth the aggravation’?  Can’t drag that teenager out of bed for religious education? {Maybe next week}. Dare not tell your friend that NO, he shouldn’t be dating before a divorce and annulment? {It’s not my place, right?} Too embarrassed to put your foot down about Church teachings?  {Everyone is entitled to believe what they want, I will keep my beliefs to myself}. Don’t want to question why family members refuse to attend Mass?  {That’s on them, not me.  I am not responsible for anyone else but me}. There you go … that little bit of Pilate within.

Don’t rock the boat.

Don’t start an argument.

Don’t risk upsetting anyone.  Or losing a friend. 

Give the people what they want.

There’s a lesson to be learned here.  We are called to resist that little bit of Pilate.  Embrace the Truth.  There is only one Truth.  Not your truth and my truth.  Truth is not relative.  Sometimes, being ‘politically correct’ or taking the path of least resistance is wrong.  It’s probably wrong a lot more than just sometimes.  Some things are black and white.  Sometimes you SHOULD insist, correct, explain, question, and rock that boat.  Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, to grant you the courage and the WILL to stand up for Truth, to do it lovingly and gently if possible.  Keeping the peace isn’t a virtue if you allow those around you to fall into error and remain there.  Practice some of those works of mercy: instruct the ignorant, counsel the doubtful, admonish sinners, and comfort the sorrowful – but do it with love and without Pilate.

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