Sunday, March 11, 2012

Looking ahead

By Father Perry D. Leiker

Question: "Why do I have to do this?"

Answer: "Because I said so!"

Once again, a command or rule becomes more important that the reason for having it. Every command or rule, however, should have a clear reason or value that makes good sense, has important value, and makes life better for the person following it. God speaks and calls us to follow for reasons that make good sense, have important value, and make life better for us. It is the reason we are urged in the scriptures not only to observe God’s commands but to love them.

Any organization, church or temple can become riddled with rules and structures and practices to get around them — they are called loopholes. Religion is supposed to bind us together in faith and to faith; not take the place of it. Faith, not religion, is the goal. Religion is the means to discover and live out our faith. The temple and the money changers and the sacrificial offerings and the rules of offering and the many, many, many things we observe are all meant to lead us to God, to faith, and to living commands and rules that make good sense, have value, and make life better for us.

Every once in a while it becomes necessary to turn over the tables, to turn things upside down. We have councils and changes and new translations and changes of leadership — all unravel us and reconnect us and ask of us to open to the new, or to renew.

And really, at the heart of it all, Jesus is the one turning over the tables and turning things upside down!

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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