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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

God First (Modernism Part 13)

Today’s readings:

Deuteronomy 6:2-6

Psalm 18:2-4,47,51

Hebrews 7:23-28

Mark 12:28-34

Asked which was the first of all the commandments, Jesus said, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is God alone! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’” (Mk 12:29-30). God first and foremost. We are to love God with our whole being.

Then Jesus added, “The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Mk 12:31a). Some say that these two form just one commandment, divided into two parts. That is not so. One is the first, the other is the second. Though the second should naturally flow from the first, it is still the first that is foremost and foundational.

With our Christian faith, it had always been God first.

  • With our ancestors-in-faith, the Israelites, there was the shema (Dt 6:4-5), which Jesus echoed above.

  • With the Ten Commandments, the first three were about honoring and loving God. The next seven were then about relationship with neighbor.

  • When God gave Moses rules of conduct for Israel, the first part was about honoring Him (see Lev 19:1-4), and only later, as part of various aspects of relating to others, did God say, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (see Lev 19:18b).

  • With the prayer that Jesus himself taught, the first part is about honoring God, and only after are we to ask for our daily bread and look to forgiving others.

Today modernists look to the second but not so much to the first. They look to the city of man but neglect the city of God. They provide social acceptance to sinners but do not look to their spiritual well-being. They love their neighbor (or do they?) but they do not love God enough. They in fact dishonor God and go against His commandments and ways.

  • They welcome and are nice to sinners, but do not offend them by talking of their sin.

  • They tell gays that they are born that way, approve of same-sex unions, celebrate LGBT Masses, but do not tell them to stop the wrong they are doing.

  • They give Holy Communion to public sinners who are rabidly pro-abortion, but do not rebuke them for their sin.

Tragically, many clerics, prelates and hierarchs in our Church have become modernist. They teach errors and even heresy. And because it comes from them, many lay Catholics are deceived. And sinners, just accommodated but not confronted with their sin, continue to lose their souls.

But clerics take on the ministry of Jesus as High Priest, and so should imitate him. And Jesus as High Priest is “holy, innocent, undefiled, separated from sinners, higher than the heavens.” (Heb 7:26). That means Jesus’ consecrated ministers cannot condone sin, be unholy, defile themselves with the culture of the age, make sinners comfortable in their sin, look to lowly earth and not to the high heavens.

How we pray that our beloved clerics be orthodox and not heterodox, teach the age-old teachings of our Church rather than modernist ideas, be holy and not unholy. How we pray that in looking to God first and foremost, Jesus would be able to tell them, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” (Mk 12:34b). And may those they pastor be not led away from that Kingdom.

Keep the right focus. Proclaim each and every day, “I love you, Lord, my strength, Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer, my God, my rock of refuge, my shield, my saving horn, my stronghold! Praised be the Lord, I exclaim!” (Ps 18:2-4a).


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