4th Thursday of Lent

In today’s first reading (Ex: 32-7-14) the Lord chastises Moses because his people have made a molten calf and are worshipping it.  We Catholics are often accused of doing the same thing.  “You Catholics worship statues!”  Anyone who would make such a comment is displaying their ignorance of the Catholic faith and of basic human nature.

In my church, we have more statues than you can count.  Besides the usual Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, we have statues representing virtually every Czech saint, plus Saint Louis IX, and a number of angels, including Saint Michael the Archangel.  The point is, we don’t worship saints, as opposed to the Jews who actually did worship their molten calf.

We use statues, and icons, and other pictures to remind us of the person the statue they depict.  They serve as reminders or as visual aids to help us pray to the saints, and to Jesus himself.

To put it into perspective, I’m sitting at my desk right now.  I’m surrounded by pictures of my wife, my kids, and my grandkids.  Do I love the pictures?  Of course not!  Do I love the people the pictures represent?  More than anything.  The pictures are just a reminder; something to stand in until I can see my loved ones in person.  I’ll see my wife and daughter in a few minutes.  It will be a while longer before I see my sons and grandkids, especially the ones who live out-of-state.  Until then, the pictures will have to do.

(Hopefully) it will be a long time before I see Jesus face-to-face.  Until then, His image, whether it’s a statue, a painting, or a crucifix, remind me of who He is and what He did for me.

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