We hear a lot of talk about God’s laws in today’s readings. In Deuteronomy, Moses speaks about the laws and decrees that God is asking the people to respect and observe. And in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus explains that he is not there to tear down the law and the prophets, but rather to fulfill them. When you think about it, we don’t hear people talking about God’s laws very much in today’s modern world, do we? We hear a lot about secular justice, about what is the politically expedient or politically correct thing to do, about not wanting to offend anyone, about not limiting someone’s freedom to do what he wants to do in life. But we don’t hear a lot about the content of God’s law, of what he is demanding that we do.
I met for the first time with the ministerial association here in Tupelo, and used to meet on a regular basis with the ministers serving the different churches in Yazoo City. I heard from many of these ministers their concern about how society seems to be turning its back on God and is heading in a very different direction. We as a Church want to reach out to society and to draw people back into our fold, but we are also called to embrace God’s law and to proclaim it to the world as well. Indeed, God is a love and mercy, but out of that love and mercy he is demanding and he asks for our obedience. God expects a certain standard of conduct from us as well.
In a few weeks, we will be having our Lenten reconciliation service here at our parish. Our Church asks us to go at least once a year to participate in the sacrament of reconciliation. We are to examine our consciences in the light of God’s laws and commandments, and to confess our sins before our God. Let us take this obligation very seriously in the context of today’s readings.