Monday, October 8, 2012

Monday of the Twenty-seventh week in Ordinary Time

(Galatians 1:6-12; Luke 10:25-37)

In political debates candidates often pander to the desires of the public. The would-be presidents or senators avoid stating their convictions or detailing their plans. Rather, they appeal to corrupted human nature by criticizing their opponents. In the first reading today St. Paul assures us that he is not such a person.

Paul has been informed of a serious aberration in the faith of the Galatians. He preached salvation through faith in Jesus and the imitation of his love. Since he left them, however, other preachers have convinced them of the need to obey the gamut of Jewish laws if they were to follow Christ. After all – the preachers would say – Jesus was a Jew. In his letter Paul assures the Galatians that trying to abide by the Jewish law would entangle them in a mud pile of regulations. He does not court the favors of the Galatians by telling them that they could have it both ways. They must either accept Judaism or accept Jesus.

We may wonder if the Catholic Church has become somewhat like Judaism with its seemingly myriad laws and regulations. We look at some Protestant communities which give their communion to anyone who wants to partake and ask ourselves if the Catholic Church should not be more inclusive. Such questions may be facile, however. The Church looks for true repentance from people who have erred. It further guides the faithful in Christian discipleship with just enough precepts to keep us centered on the Christ’s love.