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30th August 2015 - 22nd Sunday of the Year B

posted 29 Aug 2015, 08:52 by St Wilfrid RC Haltwhistle   [ updated 6 Nov 2015, 00:44 by StJohns Annitsford ]


"Add nothing . . . Add nothing to what I command you, keep the commandments of the Lord". Sounds like good authoritarian stuff.

Enough to scare the pants off us! Fit to scare us all to death!

But this word from the book of Deuteronomy is taken up by James with his "You must do what the word tells you." And the word tells us, this is a 'heart' thing. This is a relational thing. Jesus uses the words of Isaiah to tell us where it is 'at' .
"This people honours me only with lip service, while their hearts are far from me."

The Lord wants us close. The Lord wants identity. The Lord wants person to person, total commitment, to himself. Wonderful but still no exemption from the real world because total commitment to the Lord, pure unspoilt religion, in the eyes of God our Father is this: "coming to the help of orphans and widows when they need it . . .".

God's superior design embraces orphans and widows, the marginalised, all human beings, not just Catholics and Christians or even religious people generally. We are into a world dimension, the big league, in fact the universal league, when we heed the word, the commandment and the Lord God. Indeed, our personal and community wellbeing depends on our recognition of human rights and responsibilities across the board.

What helps the human person grow is good. What stifles human growth is bad. That is the law and the prophets. That is the word and commandment. Every person has the right to worship God as he or she wishes. Developing nations have the right to determine their own futures. All citizens, including racial, ethnic and religious minorities have the right to participate fully in the political life of their nations.

It is all a far cry from observances, rubrics, rules and regulations that are in the end, merely human fabrication. We are in God's world. We live in the divine dimension. There are no hard and fast distinctions between people in God's world! All are brothers and sisters in one human family, sons and daughters of the same Father.

"We come from the Father and must return to the Father." This is the word. This is the law. This is the commandment of the Lord. Spirit and life. We are not about censure and condemnation. We are about human solidarity.

Our common vocation is the spread of the fullness of Christian charity and the promotion of harmony, peace and unity both in the Church and in the world. This is the divine imperative. The commandment we must keep. And we need never be anxious, never fearful. 'We are each in the careful hands of the God with whom all things are possible. "At every moment and in every situation, God is (our) intimate, attentive and encouraging friend."

Think about it!