Scripture is filled with warnings. Today we hear a very stark one from St. Paul in our first reading from Colossians 2. In the Gospel reading from Luke 6, we see the naming of the Twelve, and how Jesus healed everyone who was brought to Him.
“See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to the tradition of men, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.” St. Paul was a smart guy. He not only had book smarts (he was a very learned Pharisee), but he had street smarts, too. He knew that the Gospel he preached, the Gospel of Christ, would be one of many competing philosophies that people could choose from. It was true then, it is still true today. The Gospel of Christ must always compete in the marketplace of ideas.
Perhaps the best example today of an “empty, seductive philosophy” is moral relativism. This is the idea that there is no such thing as sin; that YOU get to determine right from wrong; that there are no moral absolutes – truth is whatever you say it is. St. Paul uses an interesting and apropos word when he says, “…no one CAPTIVATE you…” The word means “to be held captive.” All of these other philosophies do just that. They hold us captive to sin and the flesh. Freedom – true freedom – can only be found by following the Gospel of Christ. So if you’re tired of being held captive, turn your heart more to Christ today and experience the glorious freedom of the children of God.
Father, you know how easily we are captivated by empty, seductive philosophies. Help us today cling to the Gospel of Christ, that we may experience true freedom. Amen.
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