Commentary on the Lectionary
Animals: Tradition - Philosophy - Religion Article from


Stephen Kaufman, M.D., Christian Vegetarian Association (CVA)

Commentary on the Lectionary
This week’s readings (Isaiah 56:1, 6-7; Matthew 15:21-28; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32) all include references to spreading Judeo-Christian teachings to the world. One reason this is important is that the messages of truth, justice, and mercy are universal. Those who have faith that God wants us to seek peace and harmony have followed a path of righteousness.

Humans tend to generate and maintain communities by scapegoating, which includes excluding others who they regard as “inferior.” A universal faith that welcomes everyone cannot be grounded on scapegoating, and therefore such a faith needs a different foundation to bind the community members together. I think that Christianity offers such a faith. Christianity teaches that God loves all who aim to abide by God’s ways, even though they fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If we have faith in God’s unconditional love, it follows that God can forgive our sins. This conviction makes it unnecessary to regard others as “inferior” in order to feel worthy of God’s love.

Communities would no longer be bound by a need among members to mutually validate their convictions about the “inferiority” of outcast individuals. Rather, communities grounded on faith in God’s love would be bound by the universal human need for companionship and for support in times of need. 

Go on to: Romans 12:1-8; Self-Sacrifice
Return to: Reflection on the Lectionary, Table of Contents 

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