< <  

Monday, June 28, 2004

  > >

St. Irenaeus

Amos 2:6-10, 13-16
Psalm 50
Matthew 8:18-22

View Readings
Similar Reflections

the test for truth in worship

"Upon garments taken in pledge they recline beside any altar." —Amos 2:8

The prophet Amos pointed out the connection between acting unjustly and worshipping falsely, that is, engaging in idol worship (see also Is 1:13-16). We as Catholics know from the Lord through His Church that our forms of liturgical worship are God's idea and not ours. Therefore, we know that our worship is true and not idolatrous. Nonetheless, even though we know that the expressions and words we use in worship are true, we do not know whether each of us are worshipping in Spirit and in truth (see Jn 4:23), because worship is fundamentally an interior matter.

However, if we examine our consciences on justice, we may discover insights about our worship which would have otherwise remained hidden. For example, that Sunday morning is the most segregated time of the week in the USA is not just because of the differences between blacks and whites in their styles of worship. This segregation is connected to racism on the part of both whites and blacks. This is a severe indictment against the truth of our worship. The unprecedented injustice of abortion — both surgical and chemical — is another indictment. The injustices done behind the scenes to maximize the comfort and convenience of our lifestyles also give us reason to wonder what is at the depths of our worship. There are signs that idolatry may be pervasive. In this extreme danger, let us repent.

Prayer:  Father, make me a worshipper in Spirit and in truth no matter what I may have to suffer.

Promise:  "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their dead." —Mt 8:22

Praise:  St. Irenaeus had a special charism of fostering unity and peace in the early Church. He served as bishop for twenty years before giving his life in martyrdom.

Reference:  (Read Scripture to follow Jesus, Who is Truth. For encouragement, order our tape on Ignorance of Scripture/Ignorance of Christ on audio AV 82-1 or video V-82.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, December 13, 2003

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 2003