Following the fall, one of the outcomes was a form of excessive rule-following or legalism. This obsession with rules by some people permeates all human institutions, as well as the Church. That is, within the Church there are some members who are in the grip of the sin of legalism. This is as wrong today as it was in Jesus’ time when the religious authorities were more interested in following rules than they were in showing God’s love. This is a corruption of the truth and Jesus spoke sternly to these people calling them ‘hypocrites’ and a ‘brood of vipers’. Indeed, the only people that Jesus seemed to get angry with were the religious leaders – particularly as they should have known better. In the Bible reading assigned to this week, we have Jesus berating the Pharisees and teachers of religious law over this precise matter. They had arrived to confront Jesus with the fact that his disciples were not following the correct rituals of hand washing. Jesus’ response to them was to quote Isaiah – the writings of whom they claimed to follow – when he replied: “Their worship is a farce, for they replace God’s commands with their own man-made teachings.” Whose rules do we follow? Our own man-made rules or God’s commands to love God and to love our neighbours? Let us not be lured into the belief that all society’s ills can be cured by more and more legislation and more and more enforcement of rules.