Roman 14:7-12 Reflection:
Continuing the theme of life and death as we come to the end of the church year, Paul tells us quite bluntly that each of us shall stand before the judgement seat of God. It is worthwhile listening to Paul on this subject because on the road to Damascus Paul was taken up into heaven and presumably God let him know a few things so that he could preach properly on his missions.
Today’s first reading begins with the words, ‘the life and death of each of us has its influence on others.’ This saying reflects the fact that we are all members of the Mystical Body of Christ and that we are all part of the one church.
It also has practical effects on our behaviour: we should not judge or treat a person with contempt.
This treating with contempt is something that modern secularism does not mention because in the eyes of the secularists it is right to treat with contempt anyone who does not agree with you.
The modern rule is that everyone is allowed to believe what they want to believe as long as they agree with the secularists. They have to treat Jesus and the Christian with contempt because they have no other answer for the authority of God. God’s word and his Son can be mocked because they mean nothing—I am the judge of my own righteousness.
Paul presents us with a different story. If we all honour God then we shall all respect the opinions of another because God will be the authority not us.
Putting God at the centre of things makes so much sense. It only becomes intolerable when you want to pursue your own will.