Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Justification through the Law?

I was reflecting on Galatians and the last verse (21) of Chapter 2 caused me to pause.  I kept repeating it over and over, trying to absorb Paul's intent.  He said:

" . . . for if justification comes through the law, then Christ died for nothing."

I think it is pretty clear that Paul is identifying that Christ died for us and through his death we are saved.  We are not saved by the law, because, if we were, then what need would there be of Christ's death?

Metaphorically speaking, I think there are many "laws" today that we look to for salvation.  Salvation not from death, but from misery.  What do you look to for happiness?  For fulfillment?  For satisfaction?

In one of his You Tube presentations, Fr. Robert Barron says we have a cavern, a deep hole, that we keep throwing things into--things that we think will fill up that hole and bring us satisfaction, but rather than filling us with joy, the cavern remains empty.  It isn't until it is filled by God--or our relationship with God--that it becomes full.

So, rather than metaphorically talking about "laws," I think we can talk concretely about those things we throw into that cavern that we hope will fill us up--not only material things, although there are certainly those, but also intangibles like pride and superficial, trivial matters that we overemphasize and give a place of primacy in our lives.

How much of your day has been focused on details that only really matter to you or satisfy your perfectionism, i.e., pride?

How much busy work do you create to satisfy your need for self-importance?

When was the last time you were charitable with your words or your time? (This would be a good hole-filler for sure!)

Getting back to Paul, then, if we seek to be filled by the things of this world, or are under the illusion that they bring justification, then we are drawn back to the question, For what did Christ die?

He died so we would know and love the Father.  So that we could have eternal life.  We must center our lives on Him and give of ourselves wholly because we love Him.

To do anything else is to stand peering into that cavernous hole, day after day, throwing stuff in, without every being filled.

Jesus died for us.  He is the only one who can save us.

God bless,

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