Relationship over Regulations

I love today and the Gospel for a few reasons. To start, today Nathalie and I celebrate our two year anniversary. I am so blessed by her in new ways every single day and she has truly shown me the love of Christ through our still young but full marriage. It is also the Feast of Fatima, which has always been close to both of our hearts. We got engaged on May 13th and married on October 13th. And finally, I love the Gospel today because it’s about food.

If we know one thing about Jesus in the Gospel’s, it’s that he loves to eat, a man after my own heart. Here we see Jesus again correcting the Pharisees for following the letter of the law and forgetting that the whole point is the disposition of the heart and relationship with God.

I like to think of this in terms of the difference between someone who follows a recipe exactly and someone who is willing to improvise. Following a recipe is not bad, you will turn up with a pretty good dish, but the heart and soul will be missing. In the same way, just following the law for the sake of the law removes the heart and soul behind it.

Someone who is used to cooking is freed up to improvise, to change flavors, to go bold, and to not be stuck in a certain box. The end result can either be much worse or much better, but at least there is heart. It reminds me of a quote I heard once in reference to when Jesus walked on the water. The quote was: “It is better to get out of the boat and sink then to not get out at all.” Now, it is still bad to get out and sink, but at least that means we are trying and starting to trust in the Lord with that initial step out of the boat.

Jesus presents this idea in the Gospel today. You can wash your hands out of symbolism all you want, but you are too afraid to trust and get to the heart of the issue, relationship with God. How many times is this us? Especially today where it’s so easy to just pull up the Mass online instead of going in person. I realize some are still worried about health concerns, and that is legitimate. If that is you, take advantage of the live-streamed Mass. But have you been out on vacation, parties, dinners with friends, etc? If you have and you still aren’t returning to Jesus in person, I wonder if we have put the law over relationship. This can apply to anything in our lives, not just the Mass. Where have we put laws over the love of Christ? From all of us here at Rodzinka Ministry, God Bless!

Contact the author

Tommy Shultz is the Founder/Director of Rodzinka Ministry and the Director of Faith Formation for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles, he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and 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. With a degree in Theology from Franciscan University, Tommy hopes to use his knowledge to help all people understand the beauty of The Faith. Contact Tommy at or check out his website at