Articles and books appear frequently commenting upon the so called ‘Culture Wars’ waging in our society. ‘Changing the culture’ is another catch -all – phrase embracing footy clubs, work places, Parliament Houses and Churches as well as nearly all other institutions that, seemingly, are not performing! Even the culture of the family gets a run in certain outposts; there are those seeking to change all inherited deposits of faith that have underpinned human society for generations. In a sense, we have recorded for us in all readings today, the truth of the greatest culture war ever waged in human history.
” Deep within them I will implant my Law.”
The new Covenant seeks to change human behaviour, to offer a way to live together in peace.
“Anyone who loves his life loses it.”
When we fight for our entrenched ways, we end up tarnishing or losing what we have inherited at the least, and at the worse, losing totally ‘our’ way of acting. The culture clash of Christianity, with all the traditions it encounters, is demanding. For some foolishness, for other laughable, for those who accept the teaching and example of Jesus, liberating. Many who accept the gift do lose their lives, often in terrible circumstances, as indeed do many who reject the call similar to that of the Greeks. “Sir, we should like to see Jesus.”
When we try to bring justice in the workplace, respect in family life, to reduce violence in the community, and to promote an attitude of deep concern for our many neighbours, then we are grappling with the challenge to be the grain of wheat that falls to the ground. One grain will do very little whilst remaining on the shelf. Let us commit ourselves, yet again this Lent, to be buried in the soil so we can be part of the rich harvest.