WEDNESDAY, THIRD WEEK OF LENT
Reading 1: Deut 4:1, 5-9 Moses pleads with his people to observe the Law that the Lord God has given them and to remember all the good deeds God has done for them.
Gospel: Mt 5:17-19 Jesus tells us that he has not come to abolish the old Law but to fulfill it.
LAW – OUR EXPRESSION OF LOVE TO GOD
Deuteronomy, from which we have the passage of the first reading, literally means ‘a second law’. It is a second edition of Israel’s laws. The commandments were not regarded as a burden or as restrictions on conduct, but as a gift, a revelation, a manifestation of God’s guiding presence with his people. It was the will of God for humankind.
Moses makes clear that God’s laws and statues are the expression of God’s love for us and also of his divine wisdom, of his closeness to his people, of his deep interest in our daily lives. Obedience to the law will make us wise, holy and whole. God wanted the laws to be adhered to and to be passed on to future generations. We are the ones who can and must pass on God’s commandments to our descendants.
The laity have a prophetic role in their own homes, institutions and work place. The religious are likewise called to be prophetic through their lives and teachings. It may not be easy or comfortable at first, to start talking about God, and his laws and commands, in our homes. We need to pray about ways to do it. Our own faithfulness to prayer and to the reading of the Scripture is necessary. We can pass on something only when we wholeheartedly believe in it. We need to bear witness to it by the lives we lead, for others to believe.
With all this in mind we can better understand the words of Jesus in the Gospel today, about the Law and the Prophets. Jesus is the visible presence of God in the midst of humanity. He gives us not new laws, but a deeper motive for keeping them – as an expression of our love for him and of his continuing presence and power in our lives. A repeated invitation of the Lord today, is to love sincerely and help others to do the same; then, we will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.
Responsorial Psalm: Ps 147: 12-13,15-16,19-20 O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord!
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