“For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:19-20)
The Psalmist puts it quite plainly: “Fools say in their hearts, ‘There is no God.”’ (Psalm 14:1). The problem with anyone who thinks or behaves as if there is no God is that they always think they are wiser than everyone else. As St. Paul puts it: “Claiming to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22).
Immorality and evil in our world today is simply a direct reflection of the fact that people no longer believe God exists. It is foolishness to say God does not exist. It is even greater foolishness to disobey God’s commandments; to live as though there is no authority guiding your life.
No wonder St. Paul says: “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity… Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men.” (Romans 1:24-27)
Coming to our Gospel passage, we hear Jesus referring to the Pharisees as fools not because they didn’t believe that God exists, but because they offered to God mere lip service (notice – me), while their hearts were far from God.
“Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?” (Luke 11:39-40).
Have I denied God’s existence by displaying holiness in public only to fall back to evil in secret? Have I denied God’s existence by engaging in immoral behaviours such as those St. Paul describes in our first reading?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, free me from superficial faith. Amen.
Bible Study: Romans 1:16-25, Ps. 19:2-5, Luke 11:37-41)