If we listen closely to Moses’ words today, one can easily see how the Israelites accepted a theology of reciprocity. “If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God . . . the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy. If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen . . . you will certainly perish.”
However, Moses was not speaking to an individual. He was speaking to the community. He is telling them that if a long lasting and strong society is to occur, this will happen only by following God’s commandments, and if they are not followed the results will be a weak culture that will eventually wither and die.
Luke then takes this another step farther and with much more clarity tells us that to truly follow God one must “deny himself and take up his cross daily.” This gives a much richer explanation of what it is to truly follow God, sacrificing one’s own needs and leaving your desires behind for the benefit of others, all with no guarantee of earthly blessing.
It doesn’t take a great intellectual to realize that our culture and our society have strayed from the commandments. History has taught us over and over again what happens to a society that strays from God’s Law.
I know that some may think that my actions don’t mean anything in the face of a widespread defection from God’s Law. I would remind you, however, that Jesus has told us that we are the salt of the earth. Salt was the preservative of Jesus’ day. One way in which we are the salt of the earth is by maintaining our personal commitment to God’s commandments, our own personal choice for life.
Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator