Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuesday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

(I Kings 8:22-23.27-30; Mark 7:1-3)

A recent YouTube sensation shows a young man decrying religion while claiming to love Jesus. He claims that Jesus’ purpose was to end the hypocrisy of religion. The video adds support to the post-modernist rejection of institutions. But was Jesus anti-establishment?

In the gospel Jesus criticizes the harsh judgment which the Pharisees level against his disciples. He sees their zealotry as impeding, not abetting, religion which exists to offer praise and thanks to God. However, he does not intend to abolish Judaism, only to give it a new foundation. He will reestablish it with the Holy Spirit so that humans may gain the integrity they long for but are unable to attain for themselves.

We who attend Mass or at least read Scripture daily should scrutinize Jesus’ dealings with the Pharisees. We are susceptible to the same kind of fanaticism as they. More importantly still, we should pray to the Holy Spirit that He enlightens our lives to give primacy to God by loving all His children.