Far From Him

Today we have the classic verse that people sometimes use to say that Jesus doesn’t care about the law as long as you are a good person. Of course, this couldn’t be further from the truth, but it does warrant some explanation and critical thinking. 

Last year when my wife and I took a class on the Old Testament it became very clear how important laws were to the people in the ancient near east. If you don’t believe me just read through the book of Leviticus and you will see what I mean. These laws were put in place to bring people back into holiness. 

Now you may be thinking to yourself, why would they need laws? If they only had love, those laws would be obsolete right? In a perfect world the answer is yes, but they were freed from slavery in Egypt and then pretty quickly started worshipping the golden calf. Human beings, you and I included, need a lot of help in order to be holy. 

In the time of the Old Testament this help was given through physical action that God asked them to do (laws) like various cleansing rituals. Today, this help is given to us through grace from the sacraments, still physical actions that communicate spiritual realities. So what does all of this background have to do with today’s reading? Jesus warns the Pharisees that they honor God with their lips, but their hearts are far from him. In other words, they look religious on the outside, but they don’t have a personal relationship. 

We should take note and apply this to our scenario today of the sacraments. When we go to Mass do we just say the words or do we worship God? When we ask to get married in the Church are we trying to make our parents happy or do we want God to be a focal point of our relationship? Let’s be sure that our worship is not empty platitudes, but that we desire an intimate relationship with God in all moments. Then the “laws and rules” become less about what we are doing and more about what God is doing in us. From all of us here at Diocesan, God bless!

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Tommy Shultz is a Business Development Representative for Diocesan. In this role he is committed to bringing the best software to dioceses and parishes while helping them evangelize on the digital continent. Tommy has worked in various diocese and parish roles since his graduation from Franciscan University with a Theology degree. He hopes to use his skills in evangelization, marketing, and communications, to serve the Church and bring the Good News to all. His favorite quote comes from St. John Paul II, who said, “A person is an entity of a sort to which the only proper and adequate way to relate is love.”

Feature Image Credit: Sean Foster, https://unsplash.com/photos/jrazH5W7niA