Friday, September 28, 2018
You hypocrites! [speaking to the Pharisees and scribes] Isaiah prophesied rightly about you when he said: ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching human precepts as doctrines.’ – Matthew 15:7-9
This confrontational moment between Christ and those who thoughts of themselves as scholars of the scriptures and arguing over the details, embellishing those scriptures with interpretive commentary which in turn became self-defined scripture, … defines the Holiness asked for by Christ, the holiness of the heart. Not holiness by way of rules, not a holiness by way of self-defined righteousness, not a holiness by way of exotic schemes of ordering scriptures … but rather a holiness of heart and the holy practice that flows out of such a heart.
Loved Ones, my contemplative life has as first priority allowing my heart to draw near to Christ’s heart. It is a life of casting aside that keeps me distant from the feelings, dreams, and concerns of Christ’s heart. It is a life of becoming filled with the Presence of God that transforms me from my old values and attitudes to those values and attitudes we find in Christ. It is a life of allowing the heartbeat of Christ to my heartbeat as well.
We still have our legalists, our own generation’s Pharisees and scribes, who use the scriptures to confound the feelings in the heart of Christ. They tat their doilies of scriptural verses and they selectively sift through thousands of years of cultural applications but somewhere along the line … they gain the timbre and tone of the Pharisees and scribes than that which sings from the heart of Christ.
I am a Christian, not a practitioner of Bibliolatry. I turn not the Gospel into a pharisaical folly, rather I read the historical scriptures as they are read by Christ Himself.
Always in Christ’s Service,
Fr. Charitas de la Cruz