Ex 20:1-17 or 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17; 1 Cor 1:22-25; Jn 2:13-25
Few days ago I got a letter from one of these corporations sending different type of advertisements, bulletins and booklets. In the letter I read:
“There is no doubt you feel the increasing encroachment of godlessness in every aspect of public life: godlessness in governments; godlessness in economics; godlessness in the universities; godlessness in the courts; godlessness in the sciences; godlessness in the news media; and even godlessness in once-Catholic families.
It is a godlessness that quickly turns into a tangible hostility to religion.
This godlessness has come about due to a loss of belief in the one true Catholic Faith. Central tenets of the faith have been undermined, ridiculed and denied, perhaps as never before in history.
The average Catholic, immersed in the worldwide media of television, radio and the internet, is constantly bombarded with direct or indirect assaults on his Faith.
And how can one live a good moral life if one’s Faith has been decimated? The collapse of the Faith is the cause of the unprecedented rise in immorality of our time.”
At first I was rather astonished and ready to rebuke this kind of negativistic vision of the world. It cannot be so bad. We have still some good examples of faith and morality. We cannot see all in such a black and dark colours, such a negativistic way.
But a day or so later, I read today’s readings and I did a simple verification and comparison of the readings with the contemporary reality.
In the first reading we have the Ten Commandments, the law of God, about what one of the philosophers said, that there is no possibility of denying the ultimate value of this law.
1. You shall not have other gods besides me.
2. You shall not take the name of the LORD, your God, in vain.
3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.
4. Honour your father and your mother,
5. You shall not kill.
6. You shall not commit adultery.
7. You shall not steal.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour.
9. You shall not covet your neighbour’s house.
10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or anything else that belongs to him.
And yet if I verify these instructions with our contemporary life...?
How many people live their lives worshipping money, comfort, extravagance, pleasure, success, satisfaction, wealth? Where in all this is God the Father?
How often even among Catholics especially politicians the name of the Lord is taken only for the political and unfair ways and purposes?
How many people keep the day of rest holy?
“Honour your father and your mother” and I thought about the persistent agenda on euthanasia?
“You shall not kill” and I thought about the pro-choice lows and abortion ...
“You shall not commit adultery” – and immediately click out the pornographic industry ...
And we can continue with this comparision ... and it will be no end. All commandments are constantly neglected, denied, rejected and contradicted in the name of human rights, in the name of human dignity, human freedom, in the name of civil liberties ...
And then I read the Gospel, where I see Jesus Christ in rage and how the “zeal for the house of God is consuming Him” and I realised that most probably He will react in the same way seeing what is going on with His Church, the Temple of God today. How often this Temple of God became only the marketplace of the personal opinions, private convictions, individualistic statements, the place of business and commerce where no more God and His worship is present but ME and MY personality, the worship of myself?
“godlessness in governments; godlessness in economics; godlessness in the universities; godlessness in the courts; godlessness in the sciences; godlessness in the news media; and even (I will dare to say) godlessness in once-Catholic Church. Central tenets of the faith have been undermined, ridiculed and denied, perhaps as never before in history.”
Should we fell in desperation and anxiety, hopelessness and despair? Should we be depressive and sad?
Is it really so bad?
And then I read the short passage from the letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, our second reading today:
“Brothers and sisters:
when Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom
we proclaim Christ crucified,"
Yes also in the contemporary world some a searching for miracles and signs, others for human wisdom, but we proclaim Jesus Christ crucified.
He is a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
but to those who are called, the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.”
“Jesus Christ crucified is the power of God and the wisdom of God” and He will certainly take care of His Temple, and will cleanse His Church.
As long as we believe Jesus Christ crucified we don’t need to be afraid, hopeless and depressive.