Fulfilling God’s commandments?

March 10, 2021 – Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/031021.cfm)

There was once a man who went to the priest to seek advice. He asked the priest, “Father, what else must I do to lead a holy life? Well, so far, I have not taken the Lord’s name in vain. I have not profaned the Lord’s. I have not dishonored my father or mother. I have not killed anyone. I haven’t been unfaithful to my wife. I have not stolen. I have not borne false witness against anyone. And I have not coveted my neighbor’s wife or good.”

The priest replied, “So, in other words, you know God’s commandments & have not broken any of them.” “Yes” that’s right“, the man replied. “But have you kept or fulfilled the commandments?” priest asked. “What do you mean?” said the man. “I mean: have you honored God’s holy name? Have you kept holy the Lord’s Day? Have you loved and honored your parents? Have you sought to preserve and defend life? When was the last time you told you wife that you loved her? Have you shared your goods with the poor? Have you defended the good name of anyone? When was the last time you put yourself out to help a neighbor?” Have you loved others as you have loved God and yourself?” You may not have broken God’s commandments but have you fulfilled them?

Surely we are familiar with God’s commandments. Moses even reminds us today in our reading that we should observe God’s decree and statutes. But what is our attitude towards God’s law and commandments? Is it enough just to observe and not break it or are we doing or fulfilling what it directs us?

Jesus in our gospel today reiterates to us his listeners that He has not come to abolish the Law and Prophets but to fulfill it. Here, Jesus particularly denounced our minimalist attitude and tendency towards God’s commandment. For Jesus, God’s commandments are more than just human tradition and religious observances or practices. Keeping God’s commandments is not a matter of not breaking or breaking the law but more on actively living out and practicing (i.e. obeying & teaching) its true spirit in our relationship with God and others. In other words, God’s commandments are to be observed not because God says so, but it is & should be our rightful attitude and behavior with God, and through it, we might share God’s salvation and may have life to its fullness.

Sin of omission is our sin for not doing what should be done or for failing to do what we should do. In other words, the sin of not living what we believe and of not practicing what we preach, and not fulfilling the commandments.

During this season of Lent, we are called not only to be sorry for the sins that we have done but most important, we must ask forgiveness for the sins of failing to fulfill and do what we should do. And above all, Lent is the time to make thing right before God & others.   May the Lord then, in his love and mercy, forgive us not only for breaking his commandments but failing to fulfill it in our relationship with God and others, & so that we may have anew right relationship with Him. So Help us God, So may it be.   Amen.

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