Maintaining the Standards of Christ

TUESDAY: Second Week in Lent


Maintaining the Standards of Christ

In a highly permissive culture like ours today, chances of becoming completely déclassé are highly probable. Institutions can also become victims of the same tragic flaw when they lose their sense of purpose. Christians, if, and when they let down their guards are likely to fall into that same rut. This was Lord's quarrel with Sodom and Gomorrah (Is.1:10.16-20). Jesus endured the same problem with the scribes and Pharisees (Matt.23:1-12). In both cases, religion fell from grace into a form of formalism and legalism void of spiritual depth. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah, the scribes and Pharisees developed a sense of reckless entitlement and behaved unconscionably. Yes! They recited the covenant; they simultaneously flaunted the law and disregarded the word of God (Ps.49:16-17).

The vicious cycle of deception, which hems us into its fold and strips us of our morals, honour, and integrity has no regard for personages, faith, and religion. We are all its potential victims. Our only protection against its influences is humility and obedience to God. Unless we are selfless in our relationship with God, the ego in us, our families, our country and the Church will transform us into little Sodom(s) and Gomorrah(s). Each one of us will be our own scribe and Pharisee opposing Christ on every front. We will resist change, conversion, and even the grace of God. We will keep lowering our standards, rejecting the good and become incapable of justice.

Prayer, sacrifices, and oblations are aids to help us transcend and transform our moral consciousness towards becoming a divine presence like Christ in the world. For this reason, we are challenged in today's Liturgy of the Word to be consistent in our moral behaviour and our religious practices. Through faith, prayer, and sacrifices, we can change the world and build a legacy of hope for future generations. We become better teachers, fathers and masters when we live what we teach and practice what we preach.

Lord send us help from heaven. Uproot us from our complacency. Deflate our ego; teach us the virtues of humility and obedience. Empower us to do what is good and to practice integrity and justice, always.

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