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Princes of Sodom and the Seat of Moses

Today’s readings took me aback, given recent news. You’ll definitely want to read the whole thing.

The first reading is from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah and references God’s call for the “princes of Sodom” to repent and to be washed clean, that they may “learn to do good” and fulfill their just duties, which are expressed as care for orphans and widows. The fatherless are abandoned, indeed, when the sin of Sodom takes hold in the seats of authority.

The Psalm expresses that God is not “deaf” to the sins of those who profess Him and who recite His statutes. It is not enough to proclaim God and His statutes. Such things do not glorify God. Loving His statutes, and offering praises that are from the heart glorify God.

In the Gospel, Jesus cites tradition when He references the seat of Moses. Though many would have us reject all tradition, Jesus’ command that the people should obey those who sit in the seat of Moses (a chair of authority) is itself a reference to tradition. He asks that we obey those in authority over us, even if they do not practice what they preach. At the same time, He says that we should call no one ‘Rabbi’ (‘teacher’), Father, or Master. This does not mean that we are in sin in merely addressing people who have roles of authority in society as Teacher, Father and Mister (which is derived from Master), but is a command not to believe that all of these teachers, fathers and “misters” in society have authority that falls outside the authority of our Teacher, Father, and Master in heaven.

In short, we will all be held accountable for disobedience to those who sit in the “seat of Moses” and we will all be held accountable if we allow our obedience to them to interfere with our obedience to God.

May God help us all to understand our proper roles in His Church, and may He help bring the “princes of Sodom” to repentance, for the sake of the fatherless who are so much in need of holy fathers.

Read today’s readings.

Note: Many thanks to those of you who are praying and sacrificing for me and my family in our time of need, especially Father Z, George Vogt and Sofia Guerra.

 

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