The Wednesday in the 3rd Week of Lent
March 15, 2023
Matthew 5: 17-19
Today’s reading strongly emphasizes the importance of God’s laws. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives us the purpose for his ministry. He was accused of trying to replace or destroy the law of Moses, but Jesus tells us he has come to fulfill them. He challenges the disciples not only to follow God’s commandments, but to lead others to follow them as well.
But what do these laws actually mean to us in our daily life? How often do we simply go through the motions of being Christians? We show up for church on Sundays, we say our daily prayers, we give up small pleasures for Lent (usually without truly considering the meaning behind the sacrifice). Jesus is challenging us all to enter more fully into God’s commandments. Can you imagine how different your life would look if you did? What would our world look like?
I often hear detractors of religion say, “Church is full of a bunch of hypocrites.” As I reflect on the commandments, and my faithfulness in following them, I have to ask myself if there is some truth to that statement. I don’t murder or steal, I love and honor my parents, but I think those are the easy ones. Do I truly put God at the forefront of my life? Not always. Do I feel envious of my neighbors? At times. In today’s passage, Jesus tells us that whoever follows and teaches God’s commandments will be called great in the kingdom of Heaven. We can teach others to love and follow Jesus not only by our words, but also by our actions.
During Lent, let us reflect on how we can enter more fully into God’s kingdom. Are we following God’s commandments because we have to or are we truly allowing them to be a part of and guide our lives so that we can all be called great in His kingdom?
I found this prayer I wanted to share: “Lord Jesus, grant us this day, to direct and sanctify, to rule and govern our hearts and bodies, so that all our thoughts, words and deeds may be according to your Father’s law and thus may we be saved and protected through your mighty help”.