The First Reading shows us God’s desire to forgive our sins. It gives a picture of God calling sinners to Come now, let us argue it out. God even encourages people to argue with him! And God gives an assurance: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. The picture of a God who is waiting to punish us for our mistake is not true. We see here, God, calling people to himself, telling them he is willing to forgive and give us a clean slate. He also gives a promise: if you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword. God also tells us how we can find life: obedience to him. God gives us the secret on how to have a meaningful life, one where he provides for our needs, one where he is with us for eternity.
In the Gospel, Jesus shows us what this obedience looks like. Obedience to God is not in following the Laws taught by men. It is to obey what has been taught by God. Obedience is not only in following what God commands because as Jesus shows us obedience may only be for show. Obedience has to be driven by faith, which comes from allowing God to cleanse us from our sins. Obedience comes from a desire to glorify God. The Psalm says this: What right have you to recite my statutes, or take my covenant on your lips? For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. Obedience is allowing God to discipline us.
We should never think God will not forgive our sins. We must also not think we cannot disagree with what God says. The Reading tells us to come to him and argue with him. It is acceptable to not agree with God, but there should be a desire to seek his Truth. This is why God encourages us to argue with him, so we can know the truth. However, when we come before God, we need to realize, he is God and what he says is true. I cannot force my ideas on God. If my ideas do not agree with God’s then I have a problem. In humility, I need to admit I am wrong and God is right, because he is right.
If I keep insisting on what I think, then I rebel against God and as the First Reading says: The rebels and sinners shall be destroyed together, and those who forsake the Lord shall be consumed. When it comes to my faith, it is not what I believe that matters. What matters is what Jesus teaches through the Church.
Lord, open my heart and give me wisdom, that I may seek YOUR Truth. Let me approach you in humility. Do not let me rebel against you because your Word is Truth, you have the words of everlasting life.