Noting that the Muslim said Christ told him He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life – something the Muslim had been seeking as a Muslim – Strickland notes that the Muslim has since developed an apostolate. He also explains that conversion does not end when one accepts Christ as God and Savior, but that the process of conversion continues through repentance and confession such that one’s relationship with Christ is renewed and deepened over time.
“That’s the only path to unity in our broken world and in our broken Church,” he declares. “And all the rest of this will fall by the wayside, and needs to fall by the wayside, because Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”
Co-host Terry Barber opined that the message he took away from the conversion story was that Catholics were not doing a good enough job at evangelizing non-Christians, and that Our Lord decided He would do it Himself. As such, the story should make Catholics more “vocal” about the faith.
His Excellency agreed, saying that all people who are worried and confused should turn to Christ. Speaking on how Christ is the Way, Truth and Life, he says, “It means everything that you do needs to be focused on Him and the sacrificial love that He models.” Strickland contrasts the true love of Jesus Christ with the counterfeit love offered by the world, which is a “false tolerance” that tells people they can do whatever evil they wish, saying “that’s not loving you.”
“If people are taking spiritual poison – and that’s what evil is, it’s poisonous to their everlasting life – then the loving thing is to say, ‘Stop poisoning yourself’ … with whatever the drug that people are poisoning themselves with in sinful ways and clinging to that sin,” he continues.
“Sadly, they’re being told, ‘Oh, don’t worry about repenting, don’t worry about giving up your sin. Just embrace Jesus.’ It’s like … taking arsenic and saying, ‘But drink your orange juice.’”
Strickland also admonishes listeners that all who know that Christ is the Way, Truth, and Life have the obligation of making Him known. “We can’t allow His Name to be forgotten by those … who carry His Name,” he stresses. “Christians failing to talk about Jesus is, as that Muslim said, it’s of the devil. It’s not of God to ignore His Son.”
Returning to the conversion story, His Excellency also offers commentary on the Muslim’s reaction of begging for forgiveness of his sins and feeling a weight lifted off of him when he was forgiven. Strickland recognizes that some may feel as though Christ will not forgive sins, but says that the world must fall to its knees, just as the Muslim did when Christ told him Who He was. “We all need to fall to our knees … in homage of the Name of Jesus Christ,” he observes.
Barber concludes the show with a question for Strickland regarding injustice in the Church and the impression some clerics give that they do not care for the “ultimate truth,” such as the recent incardination of disgraced former Jesuit Marko Rupnik in the Diocese of Koper in Slovenia, whereas priests such as Frank Pavone are persecuted, in Pavone’s case through laicization late last year. According to Barber, Catholics are being persecuted from within the Church, plugging a recent book by Joshua Charles, and recognizes that this is not a new phenomenon in Catholic history.
Strickland responds by explaining that we should perform acts of, and call others to acts of, reparation and atonement. His Excellency further notes that sin is a part of human existence and that the more people ignore Christ, the more sin abounds. He also says that to love Rupnik is to call him to repentance and reparation rather than “covering up” what he allegedly did in the face of an abuse crisis, as what has happened sends “the opposite message,” as well as a message that if someone knows the “right people” he can “get away with anything.”
“What we need to remind people is the right Person to know is Jesus Christ, and His Truth doesn’t let us get away with anything,” he concludes. “He’s ready to forgive us, but we have to repent.”
To watch all previous episodes of The Bishop Strickland Show, click here to visit LifeSite’s Rumble page dedicated to The Bishop Strickland Show.