To listen to today’s homily, click the links above.
When our lives are filled with challenges, it can be the case that we focus on the tiny, petty things in our lives. We see sometimes in homes for senior citizens the focus on what appears to be small when people lose control over aspects of their lives. We see when world views are challenged there can be a tendency to focus on absolute ideas. We see politically that when the world is chaotic, people seek leaders with strong and bold statements.
In today’s gospel, there is something similar going on. Jesus and the Pharisees are in different places. Jesus is challenging the world view of the Pharisees. Some think that Jesus may have been a Pharisee. Nonetheless, he is seeking to remind Pharisees that the purpose of the law, rules, rituals, and traditions is to help people to become closer to God. They are not the most important goal, but rather the means to the most important goal.
We can do the same ourselves. It can be hard to love people we do not like. It can be easier to find all of the petty reasons why we do not need to do so than to address our need to grow in charity. In your day today, remember that the purpose of all religious practices is ultimately to lead us to a deeper relationship with God.