In today’s Gospel Jesus excoriates the Pharisees and other hypocrites who follow human tradition but forget about the law and love of God. Jesus is not condemning tradition, He upholds tradition, but He is condemning any tradition that disconnects itself from the law and love of God. The word ‘tradition’ literally means “a handing on” so one generation hands something on to the next.
My friends, I love you, you know that I love you… but man oh man do we live in a world where we are all very guilty of this! I’ll limit this to just looking at the faith, but there are many things that we cling to because “that’s how its always been done here” or “my grandfather started that” or fill in the blank. Even some of our scriptural interpretations are just carried over from bad preachers or bad teachers who changed scripture to fit their lives instead of changing their lives to fit scripture.
Maybe this will be clearer, God has no grandchildren. We all must have a living relationship with our Heavenly Father as sons and daughters of God, as brothers and sisters in Christ, and tradition can help guide that life in practice. However, tradition is no substitute for it though. As wonderful as it is for someone to have the “tradition” of Catholic education it means little if not lived out in the family. As great as it is to have a “tradition” of volunteering at the festival, surely there is a higher bar we are trying to reach in our faith. My friends, there is not a single good in this world that God cannot sanctify, but it does have to be sacrificed to His service. So, when it comes to your own faith, are you Catholic because of some kind of family inertia? Or are you a son or daughter of God that hands on this life of love to everyone you meet?