“Having a clear faith, based on the creed of the Church, is often labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas relativism, which is letting oneself be tossed and ‘swept along by every wind of teaching,’ looks like the only attitude acceptable to today’s standards.” – Pope Benedict XVI: (German Pope baptized Joseph Alois Ratzinger - (2005 until his resignation in 2013)
Scripture Text: (DT 4:1, 5-9)
Moses spoke to the people and said:
“Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees
which I am teaching you to observe,
that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land
which the LORD, the God of your fathers, is giving you.
Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?
“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard
not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen,
nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live,
but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.”
Today, we live in a world of convenient relativity and loose interpretation. There are many ways around rules, and people have grown lax, even in their faith. It's easy to understand why. We are a generation so fixated on “freedom” and so exposed to information and "noise" of all kinds. Permissiveness becomes a way of life.
But Jesus does not condone that kind of approach. He vehemently says that He stands for His Father's law, and that the law is unchanging (MT 5:17-19). But the law for Him was not a restriction, but an invitation to true freedom – from sin, and all the pain that comes with it.
He poses us the same challenge today: to stand on the side of God's law, despite every temptation to break it. The English band Coldplay puts it eloquently in the song Clocks: "Am I part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?" Do we live lives of permissiveness, and influence others to do the same? Or do we stand for God's law, and bring others with us to true freedom?