The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

2nd Week in Ordinary Time

Date: 
Tue, 01/20/2015
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

I don’t know about you, but I often wish I were an undercover police officer
driving an unmarked police car.
In never fails.  Every time I’m out driving I witness numerous traffic violations:
speeding, running red lights, rolling through stop signs,
tailgating, passing in no passing zones, distracted driving,
impatient driving, failure to yield right of way.
I’d have a field day….flipping on the siren…pulling over violators…
publicly humiliating drivers who seem to have no regard for the law,
seem to think driving laws don’t pertain to them….
drivers who don’t think twice about putting other’s lives in danger,
who seem to hold in contempt those who abide by established law.
I’d be gloating inside as I ripped off that ticket, handed through the window….
doing the “happy dance” in my head knowing this person finally got what they deserved.
“Justice is served!  Cha-Ching!  Have a nice day.”
 
I can imagine the Pharisees having the same experience
as they catch Jesus and his disciples in the act of breaking the law.
The 10 commandments make it very clear:  no work on the Sabbath.
Harvesting grain is work.  We caught you red-handed.
“Jesus, if you would have had the foresight to make the necessary arrangements,
to plan ahead, to pack a lunch for your disciples the day before,
you wouldn’t be in this mess.
I’m afraid we’re going to have to give you a ticket.”
 
Not to sound disrespectful,
but when Jesus says “…well, David violated the law and he didn’t get a ticket”
as a Pharisee I would have responded “but I didn’t catch David in the act.
I caught you.  Just pay the fine.”
 
We fail to understand our relationship with God
when we assume that if we follow God’s laws
we’re guaranteed entrance into heaven.
To use the law as a measure of our faithfulness to God
is to fall short of our Christian mission and purpose.
Laws can be followed without compassion, charity, virtue, respect for human dignity.
Laws can be followed without a proper spirit.
One can follow all the laws and still be arrogant, judgmental, selfish, proud, vain.
This is where Jesus takes issue with the Pharisees.
 
If we want to measure our compliance with divine authority
we need to assess our faithfulness according to Jesus’ example.
And if our Christian witness to the world is solely based on following the law
we have done the world a disservice
for following the law is not salvation.
 
As we follow the ways of our faith, may others see Christ is us.