Sunday, October 29
Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 22: 34 – 40
When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees,
they gathered together, and one of them,
a scholar of the law tested him by asking,
“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
He said to him,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.
This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it:
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
One of the principles that our country was built on was the “Rule of Law.” Many countries today proudly follow those same idealistic principles. Today, our country has more than one million laws when counting all federal, state, and local laws that govern us. Why all the laws? The laws are to give us a sense of protection. Sadly, as noble as most of those laws are, it might take another million laws to truly make us feel safe and secure.
An overwhelming number of the current laws do serve the common good and form a better society. Unfortunately, an increasing number of new laws do not serve society. If we simply lived by the virtues of the Gospel today, we would not have need for most of the current laws. Society would behave in a manner serving the intent and spirit of the common good. Society continues toward secularism. As a result, society diminishes the need for God and the Gospels as a source of guidance for governing. We find more and more of our current laws are founded on current populism and feelings rather than on principles. We are led by what is popular or expedient rather than what is consistent with loving God and our neighbor.
It seems that the current trend in creating laws in this way will not secure a future safe and secure society. Regardless of the number or types of laws we consider, as long as we are not guided by our Gospel today, we will continue to form laws upon laws without progress toward a better society. Until we do return to principles guided by the Gospels, we will continue to churn through the motions of layers of law writing. These laws will be based on some prior failure of society and further try to conform a society around where it wants to go rather than where God wants us to go.
Perhaps we should become more active and vocal regarding laws that are not inspired by today’s Gospel. Our prayerful and informed vote is one way to do that.
Deacon Don Poirier