The Nature of True Religion

09-02-2018From Our PastorFather Prince Raja

The theme of today’s readings is the nature of true religion. Generally in a human society the laws are a necessary component. They are necessary for an ordered living and manifesting the best of relationships in society.

In the first Reading Moses draws the attention of the Israelites to all the good things God does for them. One such thing is the Law itself. It is not surely a burden but a gift from God offering them every advantage to remain in right relationship with God. The land was also a gift of God.

Moses explained to the Israelites that they have to be the example for others to showhow concerned and caring their God is. Those who obey the commandments of the Lord wouldbe blessed throughout their lives.

In the second reading St. James reminds the early converts that God is the source of allgood. He tells the Christian community that every generous act of giving, with every perfectgift, is from above. He tells them that they are to be indebted to God for all the good things ofmind and body they have received.

Mark in the Gospel gives an explanation of what the Jewish practice was, based on thetradition of the elders. We are called to be holy as our religion is holy. Since God is All-Holy,one needs to be holy to meet everyday presence. Jesus shared this insight saying that he had notcome to destroy the law but to fulfill it. Jesus presented the new rule for the Scribes andPharisees as he prescribes it to us today. He told them that the real defilement comes fromwithin and never from without. Therefore eating or not eating particular food will not destroyreligion but it is the inner disposition of the person that makes and breaks religion. He invites ustoday to be pure of heart in order to experience his presence in our work, duties and prayers.The Eucharist will be the moment for us to express all of our faith in the salvific power ofChrist: all together, with one heart, with one soul, let us offer ourselves to the Lord in order tomanifest his Glory in all of our life, a life that is holy and pure, in both body and spirit.

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