Stop moving, be rooted – Tuesday, 23rd week in ordinary time- St Paul’s letter to the Colossians 2:6-15 ( these reflections make more sense if your read the scripture before you embark on the explanation)
In 2003, when Dan Brown’s ‘Da Vinci code’ hit the book stores, a number of Catholics were either perturbed or intrigued by the contents of the book. A friend even thrust it in my hand like he had found the ‘Holy Grail’. Was the Church ‘hiding’ events in history and were there those dark corners in the Church that the Church did not want us to know? Interestingly there were many others that were not ‘disturbed’ at all; I for one found it an interesting piece of fiction and that’s where I placed the book once I was done with it. No self-respecting library would place Da Vinci’s figment of imagination beside Shakespeare, even though it may be a great page turner!
It’s time Christians stop jumping up and down each time a new fad comes along. The dark corners of the Church exist in our minds and not in reality especially if we paid little attention to Catechism class or a Sunday homily; which we may have duly dismissed on merely seeing a preacher we don’t like.
Dan Brown, as do many new fad-clad beliefs, follows a simple but effective way of fooling people. You tell a series of ‘unknown truths’ which the wide eyed believer will fire up the internet to ‘Google’ (our newest ‘Gospel truth’ for many of us) and then we are told that one lie. So this is how it works; tell an ‘unknown truth’ (unknown more because you never paid attention to Catechism), followed by several such ‘fascinating unknown truths’, and then finally tell a big fat lie.
The results are astounding. Lo and behold you have a lot of new found ‘believers’ who are ready to drop their Christian faith for the ‘truth’ they now have discovered! The warnings of Christ stand ever before us; build your house on solid rock; make a firm foundation on solid stone.
So that brings me to the reading of today. The question that ought to be asked is not what’s wrong with my faith but what’s wrong with me; am I rooted and grounded in Christ?
In the first reading of today, false teachers (thank God the Bible does not succumb to ‘political correctness’) had begun to prey upon the minds of the new converts to Christianity. They were more than preying, they were “capturing”! The Greek word for capture is “sylagogeo” which translates better as to ‘carry them off as booty’. These teachers were not interested in imparting any truth; they just wanted to be raiders and destroyers of the true faith.
Chapter two of the letter to the Colossians has St Paul talk about the methods and means of these false teachers. They parade their philosophies and empty deceits according to human (read their own) traditions, while they call on elemental spirits of the universe. And that’s not all, for you can’t be one of them unless you’re circumcised in the flesh, don’t eat forbidden food and drink, and observe certain festivals, new moons and Sabbaths (feel free to add a couple of modern fads both within and outside the Church).
St Paul has this to say to the Colossians and to us who are fascinated by these new age movements; stop moving, be rooted. His opening lines in verse six are a call to live our lives in Him, to be rooted and built up in Him, to be established in the faith and to abound in thanksgiving.
Christians who flutter and float with every new human ideology need to consider being rooted and grounded in Christ. You can’t reject what you have never fully read, learnt or lifted up in prayer. Christ is not a fad; He is yesterday, today and forever.
Fr Warner D’Souza
With malice to none.
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