Readings for Today
It is not at all uncommon for us to be like the Pharisees, neglecting the weightier things of the Law. Consider the recent controversy surrounding the name of the Washington Redskins. There are those who wish the name would be changed. But is changing the name one of those easy things to do, while neglecting the weightier matters of the law, which is to provide just opportunities for native Americans and all peoples? Is making a donation that does not take much from us neglecting the weightier matter of the law which might be to visit someone with a disease, accompany someone as a hospice volunteer, or to volunteer the gift of time to an organization?
And what are the weightier matters of the law? Jesus tells us. Justice. Mercy. Fidelity. Our country and world are wrestling with questions of justice. What are we to do about ISIS, or Ukraine, Syria, Iraq? What are we to do about the events of Ferguson, and so many others like them. What are we to do when so much of the world is starving simply because we have not yet learned to share? Just what does it mean to give people those things they deserve simply because they exist? In so many ways, it is easier to focus on something not quite so demanding. It is not easy to see how we are to be agents of God’s justice, cooperating with the grace God gives us. Doing justice is hard work. There is no easy way to discern the just thing to do, there is no short cut to an easy solution. What we know and have learned is that it requires the cleansing of the inside of our hearts, to clean out that sin that keeps us from living as God wants us to live.