Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
"Empty is the reverence they do me because they teach as dogmas mere human precepts." (Mk 7: 7) Outrage over animal experimentation and silence in the face of the human holocaust of abortion. Proliferation of the sexist and abortifacient Depo Provera, Norplant and pill as millions languish in ignorance of the methods of natural birth regulation which is the most effective and healthiest means of spacing or delaying births. Though more Americans go to church services each week than go to sports events in an entire year such reverence is empty while mere human precepts are taught as dogmas and the eternal laws of God are spurned and ignored. The false gospel of "niceness" condemns those who speak out against the glorification of fornication, whether homosexual or heterosexual. A human precept, that of never offending anyone under any circumstances to seek human respect, has been transformed into a commandment, while God's law of chastity is ignored. The false worship of the cult of death enshrines the evil "choice" of one human being to murder another in the womb, while God's eternal commandment "thou shalt not kill" is forgotten. There will be no forgetting on the day of judgment, for then "the secrets of all hearts will be revealed". On that day there will be no concealing the "wicked designs that come from the deep recesses of the heart: acts of fornication, theft, murder, adulterous conduct, greed, maliciousness, deceit, sensuality, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, an obtuse spirit." (Mk 7: 21-22) It is such actions as these of which Christ says: "This people pays me lip service but their heart is far from me." (Mk 7:6) Their cry of rebellion is like that of the devil: "I will not serve."
"The Jewish people and their spiritual leaders viewed Jesus as a rabbi. (Cf. Jn 11:28; 3:2; Mt 22:23-24, 34-36) He often argued within the framework of rabbinical interpretation of the law. (Cf. Mt 12:5; 9:12; Mk 2: 23-27; Lk 6: 6-9; Jn 7: 22-23) Yet Jesus could not help but offend the teachers of the Law, for he was not content to propose his interpretation alongside theirs but taught the people 'as one who had authority, and not as their scribes.' (Mt. 7:28-29) In Jesus, the same Word of God, that had resounded on Mount Sinai to give the written law to Moses, made itself heard anew on the Mount of the Beatitudes. (Cf. Mt 5:1) Jesus did not abolish the Law but fulfilled it by giving its ultimate interpretation in a divine way: 'You have heard it was said to the men of old...But I say to you...'(Mt 5: 33-34) With this same divine authority, he disavowed certain human traditions of the Pharisees that were 'making void the word of God.' (Mk 7:13; cf. 3:8)" (CCC 581)
Christ commanded the Apostles "go teach all nations". (Mt 28:19-20) They do so today in the Church and in her teaching authority, the Magisterium. To turn a deaf ear to the teaching Church is to turn a deaf ear to Jesus Christ the Lord for he said to the Apostles and to their successors, the pope and his brother bishops in union with him, "He who hears you, hears me." I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Fr. Cusick
Meeting Christ in the Liturgy (Publish with permission.)