Saturday, August 11, 2018
And Christ said to His disciples, “So have no fear of the powerful; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops. Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell. – Matthew 10:26-28
Maybe it was some childhood preacher or teacher, or those long years of indoctrination in a certain expression of the faith, but it only today, that I caught a misreading I had made all through the years. “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” I always presumed that the pronoun “him” referred to God, but the text does not actually define who the “him” is. Oh, a theological system might provide argument that of course this “him” refers to God … but what if it refers to the Deceiver we sometimes call the devil or satan. Or what if referred to someone in political power, Caesar, Herod, Pilate, Caiaphas?
So this brings us to the question, “We can destroy both soul and body in hell?” The obvious, traditional answer is God Almighty, Judge of all things. But what if it referred to those wielders of power who snatch away true faith and replace it with a false faith?
To His disciples He encourages them to not fear being martyred for being faithful to the Truth and being a faithful proclaimer of the Truth; but be especially careful about dealing with people who seduce your soul to its onw destruction.
Is our Christian faith based on the fear of hell? Not mine, at least. Oh, I do revere, respect, hold in awe, the Lord God … but God’s Love has chased away that fear. But I do have a fear that the spirit of anti-Christ so adept at deception and corruption might allure me and those I love into the ways that lead to a soul’s demise.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz