The Gospel for today basically describes 2,000 years of moral teaching with one simple question, “What is your opinion?” Jesus asks this to the chief priests and elders and gives them a scenario of morality.
Now remember, Jesus knows everything. He knows their hearts, he knows that they have begun to go against the teachings of faith and instead have become hypocrites, and he knows that they have been created with a deep sense of morality coming from God himself.
So even though they are not following the law, Jesus is confident that deep down they know what it is and what they should be doing. He is so confident that he asked them what they believed was right and what was wrong in this scenario. “What is your opinion?”
This is hugely important for bringing a sense of morality into our fallen world today. We all know that our culture right now is not the reasoned and deductive culture that maybe an Aquinas or Augustine grew up in. We are living in a world that is more and more focusing on personal experience and feeling than on objective truth.
But what if we could get people to see the truths of the faith, of morality, and of God, from their own personal experience and feelings? That is to say, what if we could bring people to the same objective truth of God, by way of their personal experience?
Sound like a tall order? Sound like it could easily turn into relativism where whatever we feel or think becomes fact? And yet, Jesus does just this in today’s Gospel. He doesn’t use proofs or logic. He doesn’t come in with an “if this then that” scenario. He appeals to their hearts. “What do you think?” He knows that if we think deep enough, then the truths we were all created with are still shining somewhere deep inside us, even if we aren’t willing to admit it or even live by them.
In this way, Jesus helped them to realize the objective truth of morality through their own thoughts and feelings. If we believe God has created us as good and that he has inscribed laws deep into our hearts, then we must believe that people are still capable of remembering these truths.
So when we talk to people about what we believe as Catholics or what is right and wrong, let’s try hearing of others personal experiences and try to get them to see from those experiences the deeper and objective truths of God and the faith. Then what tends to happen is that people can see morality as welling up from deep inside, instead of being mandates imposed on us from the outside. The objective truths of God are in there, we just have to help coax them out. From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!
Tommy Shultz is Director of Evangelization for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative and the founder of Rodzinka Ministries. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith.