I loved my time visiting inmates in prison and one of the saddest parts of the experience was often hearing church going people tell me how I shouldn't visit them because I didn't know what horrible monsters they are, and all that they had done: "they don't deserve your time Father Adam,” was a cry I heard over and over again from church going people. These churchgoers felt like they were better than the prisoners. Going to church doesn’t make you better but rather it gives you more of a responsibility to be better. Many people who are religious are slaves of religion and not followers of Jesus. The word religion comes from the Latin which means “to bind” or “to enslave” and thus it is no wonder that many religious people are slaves of religion, bound by their self righteousness that makes them feel secure and safe thinking that they because of their religion are going to heaven and everyone else is lost and not as good as them. Stop being a slave of a religion. People can know “the book” and it’s rules and regulations but I want to know the author of the book and the giver of the rules and the regulations and the commands. Know the law giver before you get to know the laws and you will then know that the author and the law giver above all is love and kindness and compassion and consolation not judgement and condemnation.
How sad that people who purport to follow Jesus would have this superior attitude! All of this is partly due to the fact that we have been fed by the world the notion to think of ourselves as being equal to other people; but the Bible says something different: "don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves." Philippians 2:3. The Bible is trying to say: think of others more and less of yourself. Stop thinking about all the ways your spouse, children, family members, coworkers need to change but rather think of all the ways you need to change.
Nothing irks me more than the people who come to me and start by telling me all that is wrong with their spouse, children, family and friends; they never mention themselves only the people around them. Everybody needs to change except them. Jesus says that you need to change and be better, not your spouse or the people around you: YOU. This can only happen if you see them as more than you as St. Paul did when he said: "I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle." 1 Corinthians 15:9. This is all in line with the teachings of Jesus who said that the greatest among you will be the last of all and the servant of all for the last shall be first. It is also in line with Jesus' example as He took the place of a slave washing the disciples feet at the Last Supper: a job only reserved for slaves during Biblical times. We just celebrated Holy Week and let us not forget ever what Jesus did for us, let us recommit ourselves to washing each other's smelly feet, for Jesus though He was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to fixate on but instead He gave up His divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. He humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated Him to the place of highest honor and gave Him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:6-11.