In the Gospel today (Luke 6:12-19) we hear Our Lord name the twelve apostles as well heal many. Sometimes, it seems to me, people in the media portray bishops as high-level managers of a multinational corporation (specifically, the ones who only make the difficult, unpopular decisions). Unfortunately, it also seems to me, many Catholics have fallen into the same error. Bishops are shepherds and the successors to the apostles. While they do oversee dioceses, we must not overlook their role as the authentic teachers and interpreters of the faith which we receive from Christ. Through the laying on of hands and invocation of the Holy Spirit they are the direct successors to the apostles. It is through the bishops that we have an unbroken chain back to Christ himself. What they and the Church teach, is taught not out of prejudice, ill-will, or an unwillingness to change; what is taught is taught because it is what Christ taught the apostles. Christ taught what he taught not because he is the arbitrator of what is right or wrong, but because he knows what most opens our hearts to love, God, and eternal life. We are greatly mistaken if we think we know better than Jesus or if we think that his teaching is outdated. This wisdom is reflected by Saint Paul when he tells us: “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the Kingdom of God” (1st Corinthians 6:9-10).
What are your thoughts on today’s readings? How can we remain faithful to Christ’s teaching when the world teaches something else? Share your thoughts in the comments!