People complain that the Church has too many rules. But when we compare the Church’s rules to our government, or take any company you may work for, or any other business you will discover that we have very few rules. Then why does it feel that we have so many rules. A couple of thoughts to consider.
First, these are rules that tell us how to live our lives in a virtuous and moral way. Our nature is to rebel against that. It is a constant struggle to do good when we do not want to.
Second, parents and grandparents have added rules to make their children behave. That is not good at all. Because then these children grow up believing these human-made rules not even realizing they cannot be found in the Bible. We see that in the readings today.
Other cultures had the rule an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. It was their way of trying to balance retribution for a crime. The problem was when someone was harmed, they wanted to take advantage of the person who harmed them and make them pay even more. From this grew the thought you are to hate your enemies.
But that is not in the Bible. Rather, you are to love your neighbor. But what do you do when your neighbor harms you? Yes, you are to love them. Does not quite seem fair though, does it?
At some point we need to stop thinking about fairness and equality and ask the question why did my neighbor harm me? Once we can understand then we can make a change or work towards a fair and just settlement. Otherwise, we will all become toothless and blind which will not help anyone. Seek understanding and then respond with wisdom. That is loving your neighbor.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen