Posted by: fvbcdm | June 16, 2014

Feast of Saint John Regis (16 June 2014)

For those of us who read the gospels regularly, there are probably certain passages that we don’t really understand. The passage selected to be read at Mass on the Monday of the eighth week in Ordinary Time was one of those in my young life. The young man comes to Jesus and says to him, “Good Master, what must I do to share in everlasting life?” Our Lord’s answer is rather strange, and for a long time, left me wondering. Jesus answers the young man by saying, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.” What does he mean by that?

He means this: the young man is a devout Jew who knows the commandments perfectly well, and in fact has been observing them since his childhood. Jesus knows that. Furthermore, the young man knows that the commandments were given by God the Father to Moses for promulgation throughout the chosen people, and eventually, the entire world. He also knows that God is the source of all goodness, all morality, all religious authority. So, knowing all this as he does, why does he call Jesus “Good Master,” and why does he ask what he must do to share in eternal life? It is obvious that he wants something other than the Ten Commandments as a rule of life; he seems to think that Jesus will give a new morality which will supersede the Commandments. But Our Lord makes it very clear that there will be no new morality. The God who gave the Commandments to Moses thirteen centuries before Jesus is the eternal God who does not change his mind. Human nature, likewise, does not change. So the Commandments are eternally valid and our unerring way to salvation.

The young man does not know that Jesus is God, but is aware that he is a good and holy teacher. So he thinks that Jesus might have a new scheme for sanctification. Jesus does not tell him that he is God, but simply reminds him that all goodness comes from God. The young man, of course, is thinking of God the Father since he knows nothing of the Blessed Trinity.

In today’s world, we have the same thing; we find people wanting to change the unchangeable moral law. They want to set aside the fifth commandment —Thou shalt not kill— in favor of abortion or euthanasia. They want to set aside the sixth commandment—Thou shalt not commit adultery—in favor of divorce and remarriage, and now homosexual behavior and even homosexual marriage. But those things are morally evil, and will always be. Jesus will not give us a new morality that will permit even moral evil. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you, Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago


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