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FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
 

FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL

OUR THEME FOR 2020
(Part 34)

THE OLD AND THE NEW


February 11, 2020
Today’s gospel: Mark 7:1-13

To be built on the Rock that is Christ, we must know and live out God’s word. We must obey God’s commandments. Many Catholics today no longer do so.

After centuries of Catholicism, many today are lapsed Catholics, basically abandoning the faith. Many are cultural Catholics, born into Catholic families and living in Catholic lands, just “keeping the tradition of the elders.” (v.3b). These might be good traditions, such as making the sign of the cross at various times and in various circumstances. For the Jews, they washed their hands before eating (v.3). Nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is that the heart does not conform to the outward actions. “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” (v.6b). Such people do not live the commands of God, but remain with their superficial religiosity. “You disregard God’s commandment but cling to human tradition.” (v.8).

Today there is another problem. There are those who actually want to re-interpret the commands of God to suit their human thinking as to what Catholics should be doing. For the Jews, it was with regard to the financial support of parents, which they negated by claiming it is qorban(v.10-12). For some today, even among clerics, it is making acceptable such wrong things as LBGT and giving Communion to those in irregular unions (live in; divorced and remarried; homosexual unions). The word of God, the catechism of the Catholic Church, and the apostolic tradition through two millennia are clear as to what is right and wrong. But there are those who want to reach out to those in sin (and rightly should we do so) but in the process “nullify the word of God” (v.13a). This is all about political correctness.

There is today a drift within our Church to modernism, which looks to the well-being of man but sacrifices the precepts of God. It is looking to the zeitgeist. It is misinterpreting the word of God, or worse, deliberately distorting it, in order to achieve one’s human objectives. It is placing in importance the human person above the divine Being. It is desecrating the Eucharist by celebrating LGBT, with LGBT banners in the altars. “In vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts.” (v.7).

So to remain built on Rock, which necessitates listening to and acting on the word of God, there are two aspects to be careful of. One, it is just going through the motions of being a Catholic without actually living the word of God as a true Christian. Two, it is re-interpreting the word of God and remaking Christianity in order to make the faith more acceptable and accommodating, but in the process violating the commands of God. The first is hypocrisy and the second is modernism. Both are condemned by Christ and his Church.

It is interesting that the first is about tradition, keeping what is old, and the second is about modernity, making what is new. There is nothing wrong with looking to the old and to the new, but what is crucial is to keep to the word of God, which is unchanging.

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