March 2, 2016
Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9; Psalm 147, Matthew 5:17-19
Today’s readings were about God’s goodness to His people (Jerusalem) and how important it is that we remember His law, and don’t expect that law to change to fit our perspective of the world, but to be careful and guard our adherence to that law. We honor God when we pass down to our children the gift of our faith and share the great things He has done for us; the things we have seen with “our own eyes” (take a moment now to recall even one situation in which you thought utter devastation would occur, and it all worked out just fine after some prayer and some time. Please feel to share it with me as well as your children.)
There are so many examples of this in my experience and I often write about them (although I haven’t bothered posting any for quite some time; in fact I had a bad dream where I hadn’t posted anything in years).
I often think about the root sin of Pride which may be the very culprit of that which makes a person unable to recognize those things that are actually filled with blessings and goodness, and see them as unattractive or even evil. I suggest pride because the sin of pride makes me see things that are not “my idea” as a threat. It may be that some idea which makes my life a little less comfortable, like someone saying “that is a sin, we should not do that”, feel threatening and “judgie”; judging an action as to whether it fits God’s law would be understanding the virtue of right judgement, gossiping about how someone doesn’t fit our standards=”judgie”.
I feel that our culture has come to embrace dissatisfaction, the immoral, the disturbing, the vulgar and the dark. We encourage “honesty” which equates to unkindness and harsh treatment of others who are less intellectual than we think we are. I read an article once about “The Culture of Mean” we are embracing, as humor degrading others is the only kind of funny, and our politicians aren’t taken seriously until they use degradation as a tool to gain confidence from voters. As the rate of school shootings and teen suicides increase, we wonder what is going wrong in our world. We think faith is an old-fashioned notion, and the bible is “outdated”. We think we are smarter than God’s wisdom. That we know better than Him who is, was, and always will be, while our human reasoning is as temporary and feeble as our short visit to this earth, and even that is if we seek it out and are gifted with it. We do not see the value in small kindness, but love a brand name with a big price tag (as we were reminded during the homily Sunday by our priest, “Quit going to the store…what your looking for cannot be bought.”) We look with pity on the lowly, addicted, imprisoned, poor, disabled, and less educated, while under valuating the great spiritual gifts they nourish and cultivate simply by being dependent upon Him, with whom all things are possible. What they could teach us…
Should we curl up in the fetal position and pull the blankets over our heads? No, because I seriously tried that yesterday and it didn’t help. So I turned to scripture, which because it is the LIVING word, is active in my life and my heart. God uses it to speak to us now…any moment we choose to invite Him into our hearts. Yesterday’s gospel reminds us to forgive and to remember the mercy God has extended to me in all of my mistakes (many, many mistakes). That His mercy is endless and we are to extend it to others (yes Lord, yes Lord, yes yes Lord…I sing this song when I have a long way to go in His particular instruction). And today, a new day, the living word tells me to recount and reclaim the wondrous deeds God has done for me in my life and share them with others. Praise Him and thank Him, remembering that He has entrusted us with His law that is our salvation. So I am here, recounting, praising, and trying to begin again. Help us Lord, to remember that not A WORD of your law will pass until the end of the time. You remind us so fervently that NOT A LETTER OF ONE WORD will pass from the law until all things have taken place (Matthew 5:18). You go so far as to put an exclamation point on this by saying “NOT THE SMALLEST PART OF A LETTER”…think about that. The SMALLEST part of a letter….from the God who “strews frost like ash” (Psalm 147) about the world, and creates life and heals, and forgives. You deigned to stoop down to my little laptop, on my little kitchen table, and in my size 14 font and regard the smallest part of a letter of Your living word and say to humanity, “it will not pass until the end of time”. Help me dearest Jesus, to keep your words in my heart and live them out in my days.
Prayer for the day: The Litany of Humility to examine where pride has us bamboozled.
Idea for family: Door of Mercy in my home; our prayer group decided to decorate a door in our home with photos of loved ones and a quote about God’s mercy. Mine is in my laundry room. We walk through it when we are angry, and we thank God for our loved ones on the other side.