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The Gift of God's Laws and Commandments

Homily for Wednesday of the 3rd Week of Lent

In the passage from Deuteronomy which we read today, we are reminded that all the laws and teachings God has given us are for our benefit. They are not arbitrary. Far from being rules we should mindlessly obey, they are gifts that our reason can explore and understand. They are gifts to help us grow in wisdom and intelligence. They are gifts generously poured out for our benefit, not because of anything God needs.

In the Gospel, Jesus reminds us that all of the Hebrew Scriptures – the law and the prophets – are not destroyed by the revelation he brings. Instead, he says, they are fulfilled in his person and in his teaching. The laws were intended to free us, to free us from harm and to free us from broken relationships. Jesus is the person through whom we are ultimately freed.

The law of the Hebrew Scriptures was given to us by God to guide us to God. Jesus comes to lead us beyond the letter of the law to the spirit of it – to authentic love.

We all have moral struggles. We all wrestle with knowing the right thing to do at times, and with actually doing it when we know it. We strive to love as we were created to love. Jesus gives all we need to win these struggles. So we approach the Eucharist today and pray for open hearts which are ready to receive the gifts God has given us.

Fr. Lawrence Jagdfeld, O.F.M., Administrator

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