Nicodemus is afraid to approach Jesus in the day time as others might see that he has sympathies for the message Jesus preaches and this will not endear him to his fellow pharisees and leading Jewish citizens of the day. Yet, the questions he has need answers so he takes the risk to approach Jesus and ask him. At least he has the courage to seek answers to his questions. Too often today when we do not understand a particular teaching in the Church we do not take the time and effort, and yes, even risk, to seek out a proper understanding in case it may have consequences for the way we live our fsaith and lives.

 

We hide behind the excuse of being unsure instead of ‘grasping the bull by the horns’ so to speak, and finding out the right answers. Aquinas tells us that if we are in this sort of indecision regarding a moral issue in our lives we should not act until we resolve the issue. And it is our moral and religious responsibility to resolve it as soon as possible by the requisite study and/or seeking guidance from those who can help us to understand the issue. Failure to do this means that we are acting in bad conscience and consequently we sin if the choice we make is incorrect precisely because we have failed to discern our choice properly. As a lawyer might say, this is similar to the adage that ignorance of the law is no excuse. That is, deliberate unsurety about an action is no excuse if that action is a sinful one.

 

Nicodemus is not going to be found ignorant regarding his questions; he has enough courage to do something about hi ignorance and thus resolve his moral dilemma. I hope and pray that we all have the willingness and courage to do the same in our lives. It could be a matter of salvation that is at hand. For example, Catholic politicians who wilfully fail to uphold the moral teachings of the Church, particularly in a predominantly Catholic country, seriously endanger their salvation. They are guilty not just of personal sin but they endanger the conscience of less informed members of the faithful and woe to such people – it is better they be thrown into a lake with a millstone around their necks than to lead a ‘little one’ of God astray.

 

Are there any areas in my life where I am wilfully ignorant of the Church’s teaching and thus culpable for my actions in this regard?

 

Holy Spirit, lead me into the truth so that I will never wilfully act against my best judgment of a particular moral issue, being fully informed as to what the Church has to say on this issue.