Jn 14:21-26 Idol Worship
“Can he who made the ear, not hear? Can he who formed the eye, not see? As for me, the Lord will be a stronghold; my God will be the rock where I take refuge.” (Ps 94)
The Lord loves those who keep his commandments. What are his commandments? Love God above all things and love your neighbor as yourself. Now, the question is who or what do I love? There can only be two options: Idols or God.
What is an idol? “The idols of the nations are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, nor is there breath in their mouths. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them” (Ps 135:15-18).
Before we brush off these pagan beliefs as archaic and the result of a poor education, we should note that some very modern men in the United States spent millions of dollars promoting the Day of Judgment or Rapture (May 21st, 2011). And before we brush these guys off as being ignorant too, let us not forget the comments made last week from the far too intelligent scientist Stephen Hawking, who claimed “there is no heaven…That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.” Now Hawking might very well be a great scientist, but when he begins to mix science with revelation, he becomes an ideologist, and that never looks pretty. Where is the great clamor of disgust among the scientific community? After all, didn’t this type of interference between religion and science tarnish the Catholic Church’s reputation for centuries? Again, we see that the scientific community cannot regulate itself. They can do and say whatever they want and get away with it. Dangerous “science” brought to you by dangerous scientists, and all in the name of progress. Even progress has joined the growing list of certain idolatries.
Well, not much has changed in terms of idols except for the fact that some of our idols can speak, walk and talk. We still worship man as god. Yes, like it or not, we still worship the human person, the Hollywood star, as a certain god. But what is the opposite of the idol? Is a Saint an idol? No. He is an icon.
“Whoever loves me will be loved by the Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him…Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.”
My sheep hear know my voice, they trust me and follow me (cf. Jn 10:27). The Greeks heard Paul and Barnabas speak words of wisdom. They heard Christ in their voices. They immediately recognized God in Paul and Barnabas, but they mistook them for being gods! It was a sincere mistake and therefore easily corrected, No, no…“It is no longer I who live in me, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20)
The Lord has makes his dwelling in those who speak in his name. The Lord dwells in love. And the man who speaks The Word will be One with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. Love consumes, and for this reason we consume and are consumed in the body of Christ.
The alternative is the idol. “No truth can be found in their mouths, their heart is all mischief, their throat a wide-open grave, all honey their speech” (Ps 5:12). The idol(s) lusts for attention, shining in silver and gold - in false appearances, and in seeking reverence and relevance.
Brothers and sisters, listen to the holy words of St. Paul, “The word is near to you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.” (Rm 10:8b-10)
The Saint is not an idol; he is another Christ. And this is the way Christ wanted it. All honor, all glory to you almighty God! Amen.