August 30th: 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Yr B

What does it really mean to worship God? The question of the worship of God has been given different answers by different generations and different groups of people. In the gospel we see the response and the attitude of the scribes and the Pharisees. The worship of God for the average Jew meant the observance of the scribal laws together with the ritual purifications. For some people, to worship God is simply to stay at home even on Sundays and read the bible. Others go to the extreme; they think that the worship of God means killing those who do not share their faith. And in our time, the worship of God is loosely associated with anyone who comes to church on Sunday and maybe receives Holy Communion.
In the many defective worship of God, Jesus in today’s gospel points out the major issue, “these people honor me with their lips but their hearts are far away from me.” To truly worship, “we must worship in spirit and in truth” Jn. 4. Among other things to worship in spirit and in truth means to be faithful to the commandments the Lord gives us. This is the recommendation of Moses to the people of Israel in the first reading. The commandments of God brings life and wisdom, as Jesus says, “the words I speak to you are spirit and they are life.” Today like never before the word of God is taken for granted. People no longer hear and ignore, they rationalize and challenge. This gives us the effrontery to sometimes do what we like. St. James reminds us the second reading “Receive with meekness the implanted word which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word and not hears only, deceiving yourselves.” The word of God is God Himself, as we strive each day to be faithful to it, may it bring unlimited graces to our lives. Amen.
Rev. Fr. Israel Inaede
St. Peter Chaplaincy Oleh

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