This very day the Lord your God is commanding you to observe these statutes and ordinances; so observe them diligently with all your heart and with all your soul. Today you have obtained the Lord’s agreement: to be your God; and for you to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, and his ordinances, and to obey him.
Today the Lord has obtained your agreement: to be his treasured people, as he promised you, and to keep his commandments; for him to set you high above all nations that he has made, in praise and in fame and in honor; and for you to be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Compared to my younger brother, I was the rule follower in the family. I did not make waves, get in trouble, or disappoint my parents, or teachers. While I was a good kid, I realize my motivations were not always in the right place. My obedience was solely motivated by a fear of punishment or letting others down.
In today’s first reading, Moses conveys God’s desire for the Israelites – that they follow God’s statutes, decrees and commandments with all of their hearts and souls. Their motivations should be pure. It’s not sufficient to know the rules, they must to live them — understanding the spirit in which these rules were fashioned. They must allow God’s spirit to penetrate their being so deeply that their actions and God’s desires become one. This obedience should be rooted in a love for God, for others, and for self rather than fear.
During Lent, it can be especially easy to get caught up in the rules. Guidelines abound for who should fast, what one should fast from, or when one can or cannot eat meat. In this spiritual season, let us employ its rules and other offerings to gain a greater conversion of heart and soul. May we be mindful of God’s spirit infusing the season so our obedience is not rooted in fear or guilt but in love and mercy, leading us always towards our Creator.
What barriers to do you find keeping you from a full heart and soul obedience to God?
—Andy Rebollar serves as Pastoral Associate for Parish Life at St. Pius X Parish, Grandville, MI.
God makes us ask ourselves questions most often when God intends to resolve them. God gives us needs that God alone can satisfy and awakens capacities that God means to fulfill.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!