"Therefore, my beloved, shun the worship of idols." —1 Corinthians 10:14, RSV-CE
Look carefully at the key words in the above passage.
- "worship of idols" — To worship is to abandon ourselves to something or someone. Idolatry means putting anything ahead of God. It "rejects the unique Lordship of God" (Catechism, 2113). Many worship by abandoning themselves to the modern idols of a pleasure-seeking lifestyle, TV, sex, alcohol, power, the love of money (1 Tm 6:9-10), etc.
- "Therefore" — As Fr. Al Lauer, founder and longtime author of One Bread, One Body, often said: "When you see a therefore, find out what it's there for." St. Paul warned the Corinthians not to take salvation for granted, and that their pleasure-seeking lifestyle and lack of discipline bordered on idol worship. Therefore, they must repent and heed the warning of salvation history lest they fall (1 Cor 10:12).
- "beloved" — If we would only focus each day on how much we are loved by God, we couldn't help but worship Him alone in a heart filled with gratitude and obedience.
- "shun" — We must avoid the near occasion of idol worship since idolatry "remains a constant temptation to faith" (Catechism, 2113). Throw out the TV. Turn off the computer. Tithe, give alms, and live a more austere life in solidarity with the poor and with Jesus (2 Cor 8:9). "Fix your eyes on Jesus" (Heb 3:1), not on anything else.
"My little children, be on your guard against idols" (1 Jn 5:21).
Prayer: Father, I worship You alone. I will receive Holy Communion frequently in gratitude for Your love (Ps 116:12-13).
Promise: "Any man who desires to come to Me will hear My words and put them into practice." —Lk 6:47
Praise: When televisions went digital, Margaret took the opportunity to quit watching, and now reads Scripture.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2010
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