Dt. 4:1, 5-9 Mt. 5:17-19
Click here for today’s readings.
In a world of confusion and mixed messages, it is often difficult to understand exactly what we are supposed to do in order to be true followers of Christ. When society tells us that we should act in a way that seems to be out of line with Christ’s teachings, what exactly is our Christian responsibility? Matthew is very straightforward in addressing our behavior: “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:19).
This seems to leave somewhat grim prospects for those of us who have ever sinned or messed up (and let’s face it, that includes all of us!). We are told that we should follow all of God’s commandments, most importantly to love one another as we love ourselves, but it is very evident that we do not always follow this in our daily lives. There are too many times that we pursue our own temporary and selfish interests at the expense of others and their happiness. So if we are sinful by our human nature, what prospects do we have for improvement in God’s eyes?
The reading from Deuteronomy today offers a proposed solution to this question. Rather than offering a message about punishment, this scripture speaks of the benefits of obeying God’s laws. In following holy pursuits, we can come to occupy the “land” that God has set aside for us – to ultimately enter into eternal union with Him in heaven! God loves us so much that he has given us rules and regulations to follow so that we might make ourselves holy like Him. In doing so, we prepare ourselves for the day in which we will encounter Him in His glory! God encourages us to be good to each other so that we can be more like Him and serve as His perfect reflection in an imperfect world. By following the statutes that God has set forth, we are not limited, but rather, we are set free to show the joy that comes with following Christ to others.
Sophomore in the Doisy College of Health Sciences