Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mark 2:27: My Scrupulous Fault

I can focus on a goal and its steps with laser precision. My wife often tells me that when I take interest in a new task, I often get carried away and become stupidly single-minded in my focus. She’s right. I have the tendency to throw myself deeply into something for which I have passion, but in the throes of that passion, I sometimes lose my sense of reality and purpose. The following line from St. Mark’s Gospel clearly speaks to my situation:
And He said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man,
not man for the Sabbath . . . “ Mark 2:27
          During my morning workout, I was watching an episode of EWTN’s Sunday Night Prime. The Franciscan Brothers presented a message similar to that which our Lord teaches in Mark 2:27. We need to understand the love and peace that Jesus teaches and not focus only on doctrine or law. Don’t get me wrong, the commandments and doctrine are the north on our moral compasses. As Catholics, we honor important early Church traditions. Some of these traditions can be mistakenly seen as the ends in themselves, however. When this happens, we can lose sight of God’s merciful, forgiving love at the cost of the “step” we believe is required to achieve that love. Unfortunately, I have fallen victim to this Pharisee-like vision that Jesus warns us about. But through Christ’s love and guidance, I keep coming back to His infinite peace and mercy. There is nothing we can do to earn salvation. Jesus loves us as we are and invites us to faith and love in return. Avoiding over-scrupulous approaches to the rules of our faith will lead us closer the truth of Jesus Christ's love, a peaceful, self-sacrificing love that was made for all.