Tuning in to the major thing

cbrownsThe readings for the 25th Sunday in ordinary time remind us that we live in a fallen world. The world we live in has separated itself from God’s plan for the world when he created it. We have concepts of law and justice and righteousness and transgressions but they no longer mean what God intended for them to mean. And that’s because of the fall of man.

The fall of man refers to that original decision by Adam and Eve, who stand as our parents, to turn away from the true relationship they had with our God because they found the lure of the knowledge of God too tempting to resist. In the garden of Eden Satan said that if they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they would know what God knows and be like God. This is a lie. It is a lie with disastrous consequences for Adam and Eve and all their children, which includes us.

The reading from the Book of Wisdom can be read as the attitude of the world in which we live towards the church in which we pray. The world has rejected God. The world has come up with a system of interaction which we call our culture or our society, and that system is now disconnected from God. That’s why the world is falling. The world has lost the state of grace because Adam and Eve turned away from God. When we were baptized, we were made members of the church and restored to a relationship of grace. Our baptism repaired the brokenness of that original sin which we inherited from Adam and Eve. Continue reading “Tuning in to the major thing”

Prowling about the world

321px-Guido_Reni_031In the readings today, my brothers and sisters, we seem to have conflicting messages. We hear Moses in the book of Deuteronomy telling the Israelites that in their observance of the commandments of the Lord, they are not to add to what is commanded nor subtract from it. He tells the Israelites to observe the law carefully. However, in the gospel story from Mark, the law-abiding Pharisees ask a perfectly good question of Jesus. They ask why his disciples do not follow the law when it comes to preparing for a meal. Jesus rebukes them, and he calls them hypocrites. So we might ask ourselves, which is it Lord? Are we to follow the law carefully, or are we free to do what we please?

Scholars add up the laws given by Moses, and they come to a total of more than 600. That’s a lot of laws to keep track of, and you can see how a believer might focus on following the laws rather than integrating them into one complete relationship with God. Yet it was for the purpose of having a relationship with God that Moses gave the law. Our relationship with God we call the covenant. Unlike a contract, a covenant has no clauses. It is a powerful statement of personal commitment. As the Israelites were leaving Egypt for the Promised Land, the Lord said to Moses, “I will take you for my people, and I will be your God.” Continue reading “Prowling about the world”