Lately I’ve been almost overwhelmed by the workload of the class I’m taking. Sometimes I think: what have I gotten myself into this time? Anyway now that I have a free moment I would like to reflect on today’s Scripture reading. During Lent we have some very powerful Scripture readings every week, it would be a shame to neglect them.
In the first reading, from Exodus, God instructs the Israelites, through Moses, to carefully keep his statutes and decrees and to pass them on from generation to generation. Is interesting that the Lord emphasizes that if the people observe his commandments, the other nations around them will take notice and regard Israel as a wise and intelligent nation. There is great wisdom in what the Lord commands. As we live out the Lord’s commandments we can see the wisdom and practicality of them: God’s commandments are ordered for our good, and that we might prosper.
In the Gospel, Jesus says that he has not come to abolish the Mosaic law but rather to fulfill it. In fact, he kicks it up another notch so to speak: Jesus says that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees (traditionally strict observers of the law) we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. During his sermon on the Mount, the Lord Jesus gives a set of clarifications or deeper understandings of the heart of the law with the words, “you have heard it said that x, but I say to you xyz.” For example, Jesus says that: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery, but I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” He took the commitment to even greater degree— all the way the root cause of the problem (and remember King David looking out his balcony?).
As we examine our consciences during Lent let us ask the Lord for the grace to recognize the wisdom of his commandments and for the strength (more grace) to keep them.