IGNORANT RIGHTEOUSNESS

Friday, October 7, 2016

“…I can testify that they have a zeal for God, but it is not enlightened (οὐ κατ᾽ ἐπίγνωσιν, not according to full knowledge). For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” (Rom 10: 2-4)
 
Here St. Paul is talking about those in Israel who “strive for the righteousness based on the law” (Rom 9: 31), having lost sight of the Law-Giver, God. Because God had changed the manner, the way, in which He shared His righteous Being with us, sending us the “end of the Law,” – and these people couldn’t accept that change. They had begun to imagine that they had a righteousness “their own.”
 
But “the righteousness that comes from God” can come in different ways, as He sees fit. I never “own” or “master” the ways in which God shares His righteous Being with me or others. So I need not dogmaticize the external circumstances of my relationship with Him, nor get anxious when these circumstances change. Whether I have a change in location, to a new church-parish, or a change of spiritual father, or some personal change in my family or work-situation, – let me recognize how God can, and does, speak to me in sometimes-changing ways, helping me let go of a righteousness un-enlightened and “my own.” Glory be to Him.
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