In the Gospel today, the Pharisees and scribes confronted Jesus about the law requiring purification of hands before eating according to the tradition of the elders. In response, Jesus told them You abandon the commandments of God and hold on to human tradition. Many take this to mean that Jesus has eliminated the Ten commandments so people can do what they want without guilt or sin. Yet, if we read further, Jesus quoted the fourth commandment: Honor your father and your mother. Jesus did not eliminate the Ten Commandments. In fact, he said in Matthew 5:17, he did not come to abolish the Law but to fulfill it. God’s law still holds and is always above the laws of men.
The question then is how do we know if something is God’s law or man’s law. When we look at the creation story, we read that God created everything before he created man and woman. Of all things he created, the creation of man and woman was given some thought Let us make man and in our image. Only humanity was created according to God’s image. And everything God created was to be given for the enjoyment of humanity. This enjoyment has to be within the boundaries God defined: the man and woman were to dominate creation, by filling the earth, taking care of the dish, the birds, and every moving thing on earth. God also gave them their food. Lastly, God gave them and example of enjoying his creation when God himself rested. We see then, that the laws of God conform to what is natural within a human being. By natural, we mean, what gives life. This is how we know if a law is from God or not: if it gives life and allows us to be fully human.
Many today claim to be Catholics, yet support the killing of innocent babies in the womb, or the elderly. Government pass laws allowing such barbaric acts. These laws are not natural because they do not give life. Others pass laws, violating the nature of man and woman. These laws also are not natural because they go against the very nature of what it means to be a man and a woman. While they may be legal, they are not according to God’s laws. What Jesus said is appropriate: why do you abandon the commandments of God and hold to human tradition. The human tradition for these unjust laws is the desire for “freedom” where one can do whatever they want.
Our freedom is not our own. It is not granted by any government. It is granted by God. Therefore, God’s commands override the unnatural laws of society. Everything God made is good. Yet, humanity has passed laws that are unnatural and have destroyed the goodness of creation. By passing these unnatural laws, the government has misled people to losing their original dignity as children of God.
Lord, I come before you, asking you to look at our society. I pray for the reparation of the sins of society, of preferring the laws of men over your divine law. Let your justice rule over us Lord and lead people back to you. Let there be repentance, a turning back to you, so we can worship you, not only in word but in Spirit and truth.