We can totally ignore this part…


The Readings for Monday, 1st Week of Lent (B2)

Et ibunt hi in supplicium aeternum : justi autem in vitam aeternam.
And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting. 

A friend outside of Catholic Mass, gathering signatures for helping the homeless was told by a parishioner, “No, I don’t care about homeless children, homeless families, or homeless anything.” The man said this after receiving the Sacrament and my friend couldn’t tell if he was joking or not so she joked back. Sadly, the man was very serious. Really, though, why should these verses be any more important than any other part of the teaching which, for American and European Catholics from Nancy Pelosi to me in the pew with you decide we can ignore most of the time?

All post-modern Theologians from James Allison and James Martin to Rob Bell and Dominic Crossan are quite clear that God doesn’t care what we do, God loves us anyway, and that when it’s all over these random verses in the Bible are just legalistic verbiage that people use to beat each other up. We should stop using the Bible that way.

So, we can ignore the poor.

Have a blessed Lent.

Don’t worry: be happy.

If the scriptural moral code is optional, why are these verses more important? The same God who said, “Do not defraud the laborer his wages” and “when I was hungry you fed me” also said, “go and sin no more” and a whole lot of old fashioned “thou shalt nots…” we don’t like nowadays. Who is to say action X is good as compared to action Y? This is what none of my post-trad Christ-follower friends have ever been able to answer to me. Which is why I drifted trad-ward.

It’s ok: God doesn’t care, don’t worry. Be happy. Also worth noting: there are folks do totally ignore this part – and the part about unjust wages – and only focus on the other things. They’re in the same camp as the first group. And both groups pretend to be better than the other.

Author: Huw Raphael

A Dominican Tertiary living in San Francisco, CA. He is almost 59. He feeds the homeless as a parochial almoner and is studying to be a Roman Catholic Deacon. He is learning modern Israeli Hebrew and enjoys cooking, keto, cats, long urban hikes, and SF Beer Week.

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