The crowds asked Jesus, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” “This is the greatest and the first commandment.” (Mt. 22: 36-38).
Then God delivered all these commandments, “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, that place of slavery.” “You shall not have other gods besides me.” “You shall not carve idols, for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth.” “You shall not bow down before them or worship them.” “For I, the Lord, am a jealous God.” (Ex. 20: 1-5).
It has been said that Rome didn’t fall from outside enemies, rather the corruption that seemed to be the norm of the day. Does that sound like something that may exist in our modern culture? Look around; it is rampant in everywhere we touch and hold onto.
Where, I ask, is the adherence to the greatest commandment taught by Jesus? And, where are the results of the world’s rejection of the dictates from Almighty God to Moses at Mt. Sinai?
News reports are never pretty, but what is happening in Ireland has become the most ignominious of events in our modern time. To Catholics the results of this latest attack on the unborn, the diminishment of Church attendance in a country once so Catholic, and a reduction of sound principles that where never thought possible have now become too common-place.
We do not need to search very far and wide to find that Idolatry, the attributes mentioned by God to Moses, exist everywhere. A question that is on the minds of many Catholics, “what is happening in the Church today?” Scandal, less and less ordained clergy, churches being closed due to smaller attendance, and the influx of heretical thinking and pronouncements in too many arenas in and out of the Church. These are real and with open ears and eyes the signs are frightening. Think back to when the lines on Saturday night for confession were anything but quick in and out. How about the families that promoted priestly and religious vocations. What has happened?
I recently wrote three articles wherein the emphasis is on God as the center of our lives. Had God been central in Rome before its decline, perhaps history would have had a different outcome. Maybe World Wars I and II might not have occurred if adherence to God would have been in the hearts of Hitler and other radical thinking persons. And what about 9/11? The world is too intent on greed, self-promotion of a hedonistic nature that overflows in far too many minds and souls.
Idolatry is on the rise and sees no slowing down. The worst scenario is most do not understand its meaning or worse shove this word into the last chapter of a Thesaurus where no one would ever look. It isn’t as though it doesn’t exist, it simply does not earn status, promote the well-being of entrepreneurs, and certainly will not gain popularity at the country club.
Anytime a person preaches about or writes themes promoting God, he/she is in the role of a prophet. I am stepping forward and predicting as a prophet of concern for our Church, those not yet born, and the many who are searching for truth, that now is the time to be concerned about the direction we may be headed in. If I didn’t mention it before, the worst sin is Idolatry. God mentioned that in Exodus 20: 1 and following. Jesus’ pronouncement of the greatest and first commandment supports that very commandment.