While we live we are responsible to the Lord. When we die, we die as his servants: both in life and in death we are the Lord's.

Thursday, 11/7/13

Today’s verses from Chapter Fourteen of Paul’s Letter to the Romans are verses we  should live by. The translation of them that I learned long ago went something like this, “No one lives as his own master, no one dies as his own master. While we live, we are responsible to the Lord, when we die, we die as his servants. Both in life and in death we are the Lord’s. 

That tells us that in all of our decision making, instead of suiting ourselves, we should go along with what we perceive to be what God wants.

But, we can’t always be certain about what God wants. As a priest, I have always felt safe at following the church’s regulations. However, with Jesus in today’s Gospel telling us to seek out and bring back wandering sheep, I sometimes wonder if God would want us to bend the rules a little.

For instance our rules tell young couples to give their parish nine months notice of their intention to marry, saying that they need a dispensation to marry anyone but a Catholic. I have always been lucky enough to only have dealings with couples who go by our rules. But look at it another way: doesn’t every couple have a right to marry, and if they should go ahead with it, not keeping our rules, should we exclude them from the Sacraments? Should we consider them to be lost sheep we no longer worry over?      

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