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  • Writer's pictureImmersed in Christ

God’s Word – Not Current Culture – Is Our Standard

by Fr. David M. Knight

June 27, 2024: Thursday of the Twelfth Week of Ordinary Time 

Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Bishop and Doctor of the Church 

Lectionary 374 

2 Kgs 24:8-17/Mt 7:21-29 


2Kings 24:8-17 is the “beginning of the end” for the kingdom of Judah. A succession of four bad kings—Jehoahaz, Jehoakim, Jehoiakin, and Zedekiah—  who “did what was evil in the sight of the LORD,” brought on the Babylonian Exile (586-538 BC). 


From the Scriptural story one gets the impression that whether the Jews were faithful to the Covenant depended on the king’s fidelity. Things aren’t that simple, of course: people don’t blindly change their religion or their culture in obedience to governments. But the Jewish story should make us aware of the powerful effect, for good or evil, that government laws and policies can have on individual consciences. 


No one would affirm, in theory, that whatever is legal is moral, as if civil law and divine law were the same. But in practice, people tend to accept what the law allows. They may not accept it in theory, or in their deepest conscience, but in practice, when civil laws legalize sins, those sins tend to be taken for granted by the unthinking population—and rationalized by many who do think. 


The most publicized example of this in our day is abortion. Once it became legal for mothers to kill the babies in their wombs, the number of abortions soared to over a million a year, just in the United States. This statistic does not take into account the depths of remorse that many—perhaps most—women suffer afterwards, lasting the rest of their lives. But once abortion was made legal, that tipped the scales just enough for women panicked by pregnancies unwanted and perceived as potentially disastrous to take the “easy way out” and “terminate” them. 


The Christian response to this should focus more on ministry to those afflicted mothers than on indignation over infanticide. The dead are in God’s hands, who knows how to care for his own. But the living are our responsibility, and our duty to them is love. That love includes, however, efforts to save other women from being lulled into acceptance of prenatal murder by misleading laws that allow it. We have to work for legal reforms.  


We should not let the horror of abortion blind us to other legalized sins taken for granted in our culture: the evil of war; legalized murder by the death penalty; the blind caging in prison that converts offenders into lifelong criminals; and the legalized economic exploitation that leads to poverty and despair. 


Matthew 7:21-29: Jesus tells us that, no matter how “religious” we are, if we “do what was evil in the sight of the Lord,” we destroy ourselves. His is the only “teaching with authority.” Our “scribes” must conform to his words. It is our responsibility to look for that. 

Initiative: Go directly to God’s word. Evaluate everything in its light. 

Reflections brought to you by the Immersed in Christ Ministry

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