3rd Friday of Lent–Any Questions?

Hear, O Israel!  The Lord our God is Lord alone!  ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. ‘  The second is this:  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

When the scribe in today’s Gospel agreed with the Lord’s words Jesus told him he wasn’t far from the Kingdom of God.  Mark ends this episode by saying

“And no one dared to ask Him any more questions.”

I guess you’d call Jesus’ time “the good old days.”  He spoke and that was it.  When the Son of God said “this is the way it is” people just said “yes, Lord” and went on about their business.  So, what happened over the last twenty centuries?  If Jesus is the Son of God it follows that everything He said must be true.  And we know that truth doesn’t change.  So, why is it that so many people question Jesus’ words today?

I’m not talking about man-made truth.  For instance, “priests must be celibate” is true.  It’s a law of the Church.  But there are exceptions.  Father Gary Lockwood of our Archdiocese is a married man.  Married Anglican priests who convert to Catholicism are allowed to remain priests, even though they’re married.  The law requiring priestly celibacy, since it’s man-made, could be changed.

Another example would be our regulations for Lent.  They’ve been changed in the past and could be changed again.

On the other hand, truth as proclaimed by Jesus is true; forever.  The greatest commandments are exactly what Jesus said they were.  As Mark wrote, no one dared ask any more questions.  So, where do we get off questioning His truth?  So-called “pro-choice Catholics” tell us that abortion is OK.  Never mind that silly “Thou shalt not kill” commandment.  That was then.  This is now.

I’m going to talk about this in more detail this coming Sunday, but “Thou shalt not commit adultery” seems pretty clear.  But it’s almost a surprise to me when a couple comes to church wanting to get married and they aren’t living together.  The ones who are living in sin act like it’s no big deal.

I could go on, but here’t the thing.  It’s ok to ask questions about some things, maybe even most things.  But we can’t question God.  OK, we can but we shouldn’t.  Truth is truth and you and me questioning it won’t make it change.  You throw a ball up in the air and, unless something interferes with it, it’s going to come back down.  Whether you believe in the law of gravity or not, it’s going to happen.

If you play with fire, you’re going to get burned.  You don’t have to understand or agree with the laws of combustion, you will get burned.  Period.

If you reject the commandments, if you kill, or steal, or commit adultery, you will suffer the consequences.  Maybe not in this life, though it’s a possibility…if you get caught.  But you will pay in eternity.  That’s the truth.

Any questions?

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