Commentary on the Gospel of
“Religiosity and spirituality”
Let’s not be deceived by what we see, seems to be the caution coming from today’s Gospel reading. It underscores the basic difference between religious practices and authentic spirituality. Going to church, belonging to the choir, being a member of the Charismatic renewal or the legion of Mary, wedding in the church, being ordained priest or bishop – each of these religious practices or offices, like the ablution or ritual washing of the hands, ought to help us deepen our communion with God; ought to bring us closer to God, that is, enhance authentic spirituality. In other words, each of the practices or offices bears a meaning beyond its immediate appearance.
Of course, they operate at different levels in facilitating reunion with God. While some of them operate at sacramental level, others are sacraments ‘in themselves;’ yet, each points towards reunion with God. I learnt that it is a Chinese proverb which says: ‘while pointing to the moon, the fool watches the finger!’ It could also be one’s story of a stunted spiritual growth, when these religious practices are reduced to orchestrations, showing off rather than connecting oneself to God. In that case we are challenged to refocus on the authentic Christian spirituality, namely ‘our communion with God’.