So now, Israel, give heed to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that the Lord, the God of your ancestors, is giving you. See, just as the Lord my God has charged me, I now teach you statutes and ordinances for you to observe in the land that you are about to enter and occupy.
You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!” For what other great nation has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is whenever we call to him? And what other great nation has statutes and ordinances as just as this entire law that I am setting before you today?
But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children—
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.
Before entering the long-awaited promised land, Moses stops to tell his people what will make them a truly great nation. The Israelites must have been surprised that it would not be the strength of their armies or the prosperity of their economy that would make them great among all the nations. Rather, it would be the justice brought about by their laws that would make them a great people.
The Israelites were promised a land of milk and honey. There is nothing more sustaining and nothing sweeter than God’s law which has been freely given to God’s people. A righteous life, lived in accord with God’s just and loving law, is the true end of every Lenten journey. And, it is more unassailable than the most powerful armies and more valuable than the most prosperous economies.
We live in a society that highly values military strength and economic growth. How can we work to ensure that the laws of our society bring about justice for all of God’s people?
—Tom Weiler is a teacher in the department of Religious Studies and the moderator of Club Vinyl at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
O Lord, open my eyes that I may see the needs of others
Open my ears that I may hear their cries;
Open my heart so that they need not be without succor;
Let me not be afraid to defend the weak because of the anger of the strong,
Nor afraid to defend the poor because of the anger of the rich.
Show me where love and hope and faith are needed,
And use me to bring them to those places.
And so open my eyes and my ears
That I may this coming day be able to do some work of peace for thee.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!