Monday 28 December 2015

Wednesday of the 5th Week of Easter

When we go to a country for work or studies or some other purpose, we are sometimes advised to follow some of the customs and practices of that country. We may have heard of the saying: "Do as the Romans do." Even though we follow some of such customs and practices, we may not necessarily follow all of them, since some of these customs and practices are peculiar to a certain ethnic group, and has nothing to do with the general public of that country.

In today's reading, we come across some conflict, because certain members of the Pharisees' party who had become believers objected, insisting that the pagans should be circumcised (in other words, "kena potong") and instructed to keep the Law of Moses. Such a custom or practice was peculiar to the Jews, as it was handed down to them from their forefathers. But is such a custom or practice relevant to others, those who are not Jews? Should Christians be subjected to such a custom, which Jesus did not impose or insist upon in His teaching or way of life? Of course not, and later in another part of the reading, we would understand why. This is where we need to be clear about what is actual teaching of faith, and what are practices which appear to be common among Christians of a certain ethnic group, but not common among Christians as a whole. We need to be clear, since although matters of faith and morals are non-negotiable, matters concerning practices and customs can and will differ from place to place. May we discern carefully and know which is which.

No comments:

Post a Comment