Monday, June 4, 2018
For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. -Matthew 23:12
Christ far more often than not proclaims new principles rather than new rules. He chooses not to codify new law for codified law leads to legal complexity that serves both to understand the new law but also to confound the new law. No, for the most part, He teaches principles that must be lived out by way of a conscience that in itself is the standard of accountability. We will be held accountable not by the limits of legality but by the full extent of the conscience of Christ within us.
Christ spoke of this standard when He taught that though we may not have murdered anyone we still may have desired to kill someone. We may not have committed adultery in terms of legal definition we may have begun the thought processes that lead to such transgression. No, we will are called to a standard of principles well-applied rather than the standard of merely the letter of the law. Human judiciaries must operate within the confines of the community’s laws, but the Lord looks to the heart.
One such principle is … For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. How does one write law to fulfill this principle? One cannot without falling into the old, religious traps of a sophistry of legalism and a self-righteous hypocrisy. We simply must apply this truth as best we can with the help of the counsel of the Lord.
Christ tried to liberate the Faith from legalism and resultant hypocrisy by commanding the faithful fulfillment of Divine principles. Yet, century after century we retreat from Christ’s progress and return to the old way of thinking and the old way of failing.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz