Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 11:37-41 – TWENTY-EIGHTH WEEK OF THE YEAR: Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Here we have a dinner party that turned into a disaster. A Pharisee had invited Jesus to a meal and said the wrong thing. This caused the Lord to explode. Luke gives us a long series of denunciations not so much of individual Pharisee as of a Pharisaism that emphasized rituals over faith. The Pharisees’s remark at Jesus’ ceremonial negligence was the spark that ignited this classic diatribe.
We can guess at the reasons for the Lord’s severity. A religion reduced to externals becomes phony because it misdirects faith, hope and love. A person can be more in love with a romanticized version of “Catholicism” than with the actual community Jesus founded, more devoted to Church structure than to the people of the Church thereby turning the Church (or Judaism) into an idol. The result is that the love of Christ, the very soul of liturgy, parish and prayer, is stunted and misapplied to a fantasy of an idealized religiosity.
Church laws and ecclesiastical conventions are vehicles of the Holy Spirit and should not be obstacles to Him.
Jakarta, 16 October 2018
A Christian Pilgrim