If we can’t use the Lord’s name in vain, can we joke about God? Fr. Mike makes the case that there is room for humor about God in the context of love.
No one in the universe or beyond it deserves more honor, respect, and reverence than God, and we jeopardize our souls if we fail to see this. At the same time, though, Jesus called us his friends (John 15:15). Friends can joke about each other because they know there is mutual love and respect there.
It goes even deeper than that though, Fr. Mike argues. God is calling us to a whole different kind of relationship, a whole different kind of intimacy, through his son Jesus. If we enter into that relationship and nurture it, we may discover that God does indeed have a sense of humor, a whole new sense of humor we didn’t even think was possible.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church paragraph on the Second Commandment:
“Blasphemy is directly opposed to the second commandment. It consists in uttering against God – inwardly or outwardly – words of hatred, reproach, or defiance; in speaking ill of God; in failing in respect toward him in one’s speech; in misusing God’s name. St. James condemns those “who blaspheme that honorable name [of Jesus] by which you are called” (James 2:7). The prohibition of blasphemy extends to language against Christ’s Church, the saints, and sacred things. It is also blasphemous to make use of God’s name to cover up criminal practices, to reduce peoples to servitude, to torture persons or put them to death. The misuse of God’s name to commit a crime can provoke others to repudiate religion” (CCC 2148)
Meet Fr. Mike Schmitz
Fr. Mike Schmitz serves as Director of youth and young adult ministry for the Diocese of Duluth and as chaplain for the Newman Catholic Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota-Duluth.