8 June 2016
One of the joys of our faith is simplicity. But sometimes—a lot of times—we tend to make our faith too complex. Today, Jesus refers to “the law and the prophets,” and there’s a lot there in “the law and the prophets:” rules and regulations, customs to be observed, rituals, words of wisdom, proverbs, mystical thinking, story-telling and so on. And we have all this in our Catholic faith as well.
On the one hand, it’s a sign of the richness of our faith; after all, there’s a lot of depth and breadth to the mysteries of our faith. On the other hand, however, all that richness can be too much sometimes. All the laws and teachings, the rituals, words of wisdom and guidance—it can all be too overwhelming from time to time. And so it’s good to remember that our faith is actually rather simple.
When Jesus talks about “the law and the prophets” as a whole, he’s referring to the one, simple goal they’re all geared toward: Returning to God through faith, hope, and love. That’s what our faith is all about: undoing the sins of Adam and Eve, and saying to God from our hearts: “You alone are God. And I give you all my trust and love."
To say that, and to live that, is the fulfillment of “the law and the prophets.” It’s the fulfillment of the teachings of Christ, and all the teachings and laws and such of the Church. Returning to God is the simple goal of our faith. That kind of simplicity in faith is what gave Elijah the edge when he went up against the Baals.
What did Elijah say? “Lord, God . . . let it be known this day that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant.” That’s the sacrifice acceptable to God: the sacrifice of simple faith and trust in God. It’s so simple. And so, if we ever feel like we don’t know if we’re living our faith right, or if we don’t know if we’re doing something right or wrong, or if we’re just overwhelmed by all the richness of our faith, it’s good to remember: Our faith is simple.
What God asks of us isn’t complicated. All God desires is our love and fidelity. That’s all; it’s very simple. Any child can give that God, and so can we.