Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I love the Law! Well, as long as it doesn't apply to me...

Third Week of Lent 2007: Wednesday (14-2-2007)
Mass Readings
Daniel 4:1,5-9
Matthew 5:17-19

God gave the Ten Commandments to us all! These Commandments are God's Law and it is a law of love. The Ten Commandments are not a list of harsh rules and regulations. When you look at them, you see a way of living that is about being in communion with God and one another, of respect for God and one another. The most important aspect, love for God and for one another. The Ten Commandments are about being faithful. No one is perfect but we must strive to be faithful.

How can something so easy be so hard? Well, we humans are vulnerable and prone to giving in to temptation. If we weren't vulnerable to sin, Jesus would not have sacrificed his life for us. So, sin is a reality and we must rely upon God for mercy and forgiveness. This means we can't pick and choose what Commandments we want to follow and which ones we want to toss out. Jesus states in our Gospel today that he is the fulfillment of the law and that the law is still in place. The Ten Commandments are just as important to God today as they were when God gave them to Moses. The problem is that we tend to not take the Ten Commandments seriously. When we do that, sin is right around the corner.

Nothing has been removed from the Ten Commandments. We have not been exempted from any of them. It is curious that we tend to ignore our own sin while preaching to others that they have broken a Commandment and have sinned. We deflect attention from our own sin by placing a spotlight on the sin of someone else. There are ten sins that we can commit but we can find find a thousand ways to commit each one. I know that I am guilty. I have sinned and I am dependant on God's forgiveness. We have all sinned and fallen short of God's glory.

One of my personal commandments is "Thou shalt not talk about politics in the pulpit". I am breaking my own commandment by bringing this up so I ask for your forgiveness. I read a newspaper column this morning that is troubling me. The writer implied that ignoring the blatant violations of the Ten Commandments by the politicians who benefit us and blindly supporting them is a sign of "political maturity". What? Is this the way we Christians have come to view the Ten Commandments? Did I read it wrong? Nope, I didn't. I believe that this column is a prime example of how we ignore the teachings of God that are unimportant to us yet lambast others for doing the same thing. So, according to this writer, in order to gain power we are to ignore blatant violations of the Ten Commandments?? NO! We all sin. That is just reality. We can be forgiven and praise be to God for that! I found this column very sad and disappointing.

To be a disciple of Jesus means that we are to work as hard as we can to honor God's Ten Commandments. What would Jesus do? He would be faithful. What are we to do? We are to be faithful. The Ten Commandments are the guide that leads us to a strong relationship with God and one another. The Ten Commandments are to be written upon our hearts. The spirit of the law must fill us. We can argue all we want about posting the Ten Commandments in buildings or other properties but if we do not live the Ten Commandments then it is just useless chatter. If we do not embody the law, our actions are merely self seeking. I do not believe there is any "maturity" political or otherwise associated with being willing to ignore the Commandments we don't want to practice.

The Ten Commandments apply to all of us. To live God's Law is to be free. To love God's Law is to love life.