Thursday, March 31, 2011

Daily Lenten inspiration, March 30, 2011 (Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent)

Transcript of homily recorded on Wednesday, March 30, 2011

By Father TimMcGowan

Jesus was often accused by his adversaries of violating the law. And the law, of course, is the law of Moses. And the law of Moses was considered to be sacred, because it allowed people to live in harmony with each other and in union with God. The law of Moses was God's law, given to Moses on Mount Sinai — remember the tablets, the Ten Commandments.

However, down through the years, people in positions of power and influence added a bunch of petty laws, laws that were self-serving laws, so that when Jesus healed a person on the sabbath, on a Sunday, they accused him of working on the sabbath day which was prohibited by the law, "Remember to keep holy the Lord's day."

Now, Jesus says, is it good to do a good thing or a bad thing on a holy day, on a sabbath day? They said, "a good thing." Taking care of people on the Lord's day is what the Lord would have us to do. But they were always trying to show him to be in violation of the law. So he gives his defense in today's Gospel. He says, "I have not come to abolish the law, but rather to fulfill it."

And he fulfills the law in two ways.

First of all, he keeps the law. You can take the Ten Commandments that God gave Moses on Mount Sinai and place them on top of Jesus' life and they will match exactly. He kept the law; he kept God's law. He did not appreciate nor go along with the petty rules that people later put on the law.

And the second way that he fulfilled the law is he fulfilled it by expanding it for us. The law says "You shall not kill." I say whoever hates his brother or sister commits murder in their heart. So he challenges us not only to follow the law but to fulfill it by following his law of love. And his law of love says that every person is of infinite value. Why? Because you and I are loved by God. Who loves you? God loves you, exactly. Always remember that. Who loves you? God loves you. And if you will remember that God loves you then you will remember your dignity. You are a child of God, loved by god, forgiven by Christ when he opened his arms on the cross, redeemed by Christ when he rose from the dead. You are of infinite value. That doesn't make us arrogant, it makes us grateful. It makes us happy that God loves us so much that, even when we were sinners, Christ would open his arms on the cross and give his life for us. That's how much God loves you.

So today, tonight, in this Eucharist, let's renew this belief that we have in God's love for us so that we will, in turn, treat each other with love, with dignity, with respect and kindness.

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