for Sunday, August 30, 2009
Today we are given readings to help us focus on the role of the
commandments in our lives. All of us are aware that there is a lot more in
Church law today than just the ten commandments. For our Jewish sisters
and brothers, also, there had been a gradual introduction of all kinds of
laws and practices which helped them understand and live their faith.
Moses is very careful to tell his people: don't add anything to this and
don't take things away. Jurisprudence is the art of interpreting what the
law means. Always when there are laws or regulations, there will be a need
for interpretation. The broader the laws, the more theoretical the laws,
the more there will be need for interpretation.
For instance: though shall not kill. Does that mean that all killing is
forbidden? Can I defend myself if someone tries to kill me? Can I serve
in the army of my country? If I see someone attacking another person, can
I do anything about it?
Moses tells the people that by observing the commandments carefully, they
will give witness of their wisdom and intelligence to the other nations.
Probably most of us don't think that when we observe the teachings of the
Church we give witness to our wisdom and intelligence! On the other hand,
the more we reflect on the basic teachings of our Church with faith in
Jesus Christ, we come to see that they are truly wisdom teachings and
incredibly well thought out as well as based on faith.
Only the believer who takes time to pray and intellectual energy to
reflect can come to understand more and more deeply the wisdom and
intelligence of Church teachings, which are based on the Scriptures. We
seem to have lost so much of this tradition in the Church in the present
age. It does not help us to be sad about it. Instead, we can dedicate
ourselves to this work of praying and reflecting so that each of us can
become strong, wise and intelligent followers of the Lord.
Only with wisdom and intelligence can we remain free of being blind
followers who accept everything without thinking or of being intellectually
arrogant and rejecting belief because it is not science.
We call upon the Lord today and reflect on the words of the second
reading: Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves.
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to
care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself
unstained by the world.
May the Word of God transform us today so that we are wise and intelligent
witnesses to the presence of Christ in our world!
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: