Tuesday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
(Romans 1:16-25; Luke 11:37-41)
A famous line from the Declaration of Independence reads, “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal…” It was not entirely composed by Thomas Jefferson. Rather Benjamin Franklin changed Jefferson’s original wording, “We hold these truths to be sacred and undeniable,” to what is now familiar to most Americans. Franklin’s reasoning for suggesting the change was to remove the equality of humans from the realm of religious belief to undeniable fact. St. Paul proceeds in the same way in the first reading today.”
Paul writes that Greeks have no excuse for not believing in God. He says that God made His power and divinity evident to them in creation. He concludes that they refused to accept this truth out of vanity. That is, in Paul’s mind, the Greeks refused to subject themselves to God’s authority by following natural law. The result was sexual perversity and the absurdity of worshipping idols.
The world needs to take to heart Paul’s observations. Living righteously is difficult enough with a belief in God’s power to judge. Without that belief, atrocity will always be just around the corner. The gospel brings depth and eloquence to our knowledge of God. The more we live it, the more the world should accept the God it proclaims.