Am 5:14-15, 21-24 / Mt 8:28-34
In every generation, one of the most popular children’s games is Hide-And-Go-Seek. And, one of the more rotten things that children sometimes do in this game is to send their playmate off to hide and then not bother to look for him or her. Adults often do a variant of that, namely, we look for a place to hide from reality or from the truth, instead of seeking and finding it.
The Old Testament prophets, and later Jesus himself, saw too much of that at the very core of Jewish religious practice. Many Jews thought that they could hide from God under the cover of elaborate rituals, observances, and sacrifices. How small and foolish they imagined God to be, for they thought their hiding out in religion would really work! But it didn’t, for God can’t be fooled!
The only thing that will ever work with God is a pure and trusting heart, from which flow the deeds of love. Our religious practices are means to an end and only that, and they have legitimacy only to the extent that they help us build a pure and trusting heart that does the deeds of love.
This brings us to today’s question: Are you just hanging out or hiding in your church and your religious practices? Or are you being transformed? Is your heart being reshaped or are you just treading water?
Warning: You ignore this question at your peril!