Thrusday, September 30, 2010

Memorial of Saint Jerome, priest and doctor of the Church

(Job 19:21-27; Luke 10:1-12)

The gospel today sounds like an episode of times past. It needs adaption. Just as St. Jerome translated the Bible from Greek into Latin so that more people may readily read its content, we must apply this passage’s lessons to our day.

For sure the harvest is abundant. Most people are aware of the gospel message through the preaching of Jesus Christ for twenty centuries. But there are wolves among them who not only evade the gospel call to repentance but also entice others to abandon the way of virtue. If we remind them of the need to come to church, they may respond that they are “spiritual not religious.” Or, alternatively, they may say that there is but “one God and each person may worship Him in her or his own way.” Or, they may challenge us to show that God indeed exists and cares about us. How are we to respond to these objections?

Jesus first would have us model the glory of gospel life by our simplicity and joy. We do not brag about our accomplishments or show off our successes but humbly and happily serve those whom we encounter. As we know, right living relays a powerful message. Then we address the contemporary objections to faith. The spiritual life points to the presence of God who has revealed Himself in the community of believers. One cannot be spiritual and, at the same time, abandon religious practice. Also, history shows how that the faith community has grown through the centuries with some aberrations that no longer follow the practices prescribed by traditions going back to Christ, the Son of God who came to reveal the Father’s will. All believers may worship the same God but not necessarily in the ways that God prescribes. Finally, we cannot prove that God loves us because that is a matter of faith. However, believing has brought peace to millions throughout time as it can to doubters today.