Monday, October 5, 2020


Monday of the Twenty-seventh Week in Ordinary Time

 (Galatians 1:6-12; Luke 10:25-37)

 Most people, when they have something hard to say to another, will try to ingratiate themselves first.  If you have to tell an employee that his work could be better, you might start by complimenting him for showing up on time.  But Paul in his letter to the Galatians wastes no time for niceties.  Right after his salutation, he delivers his first salvo of criticism.  This is where today’s reading begins: “I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you…”

Paul has been informed of a serious aberration in the faith of the Galatians.  He preached salvation through faith in Jesus and imitation of his love.  Since he left them, however, other preachers have convinced the Galatians of the need to observe Jewish law in order 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 only entangle them in a morass of regulations.  He tells them that they must either accept Judaism or accept Jesus.

We may wonder if the Catholic Church has become somewhat like Judaism with its many laws.  We see Protestant communities boasting, “All are welcome,” and question whether the Church is exclusivist by not offering the Eucharist to all who wish to partake of it.  But such questions are simplistic.  The Church would rejoice if people would commit themselves to her through Baptism and Confirmation.  She would gladly give Communion to anyone who repents of their sins to follow Christ.  The regulations it maintains are only to keep repentant sinners -- as all of us are -- centered on Christ’s love.