Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent
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Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
Setting us up for failure. Life is what it is. It takes hours for a house of cards to go up and only seconds for it to come down. It takes months for stocks to rise and less than a week to see them crash. It takes years of countless good deeds to trust someone and only one bad deed to doubt them again.
You could do a thousand good deeds and go entirely unnoticed or make one mistake and be remembered forever. We remember the wrong people do far better than the good they do.
Life is what it is. It is sooo upside down!
Moses spoke to the people and said: “Now, Israel, hear the statues and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the god of your fathers, is giving you. Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees as the Lord, my God, has commanded me, that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy. Observe them carefully…” (Dn 4:1,5-6).
This is all find and good, but was it enough? Did God give His people what they needed to observe His statutes and decrees? Or did He set them up for failure?
Did He promise His people the Promised Land just to take it away from them? Did He give all humans a heart made to love only have it be broken and hurt so bad? Did He give us the amazing gift of reason only to foresee pain and suffering and experience mental anguish?
But because of sin, we can lose it all and our lives can easily turn upside down. But God is at work doing what He does best: turning things right-side up.
“You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence, O Lord” (cf. Ps. 16:11).
Show us the path of life. Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.” Really? Are you serious? How can you say that? After all, you spoke to women in public, even sinful women; you ate at the homes of tax collectors and sinners; you touched lepers and allowed others to touch you; you worked on the Sabbath.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law.
Oh, I got it. You’re turning things right-side up. Your taking your Cross and turning it into your throne. The servant is the glory of the Lord and the lamb is the mightiest. A thousand years are a single day. The last are first and the first are last. You pay handsomely all your workers, regardless of whether they arrived first or last. You seek not the death of the sinner (that would be too easy) but their conversion. You’re quick to forgive and slow to condemn. The gates of heaven open just as wide for the thief as they do for the Pope. Why? Because you’re unfair! You’re generous! You’re loving.
You leave the ninety-nine well feed sheep behind to spend quality time with the one that is lost, cold and frightened. You allow a lifetime to be lived before judging an individual.
You fulfill the Law by adding the missing ingredients: love, compassion and mercy. You are quick to forgive but won’t let go of a the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter of the law. You follow the rules but won’t let go of the soul.
This morning I read an article about a young girl who took it upon herself to shave her head bald. She did it out of love (solidarity) for a friend who has lost her hair due to cancer treatments. Unfortunately, school authorities, citing school policy, suspended her. How ridiculous! This happened in Colorado, the same state that legalized marijuana? (I wonder if there is any connection).
School policy states…So what!!! Where does one find the heart of the policy? In the policy or in humanity?
Atoms do not think. Molecules do not think. DNA does not think. Rules do not think. But we have the freedom to think and turn things either upside-down or right-side up. Our sins lead us in one direction while the Lord leads us in the other. This young girl turned her life upside down (that is, right-side up) to show the world that to suffer for a friend is worth more than all the stares in the world. BRAVO!
God’s laws are not the problem. People are. And for this reason He sent His Son to us. He didn’t have to, but He did. And what He did for us was not fair to Him at all….It was absolutely beautiful.
Just like what that little girl did for her friend. (0)
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