Law of God


The Nearness and Justice of God Fulfilled in Christ

(Dt 4:1-9; Ps 147; Mt 5:17-19)


We need to hear again the striking statement of Moses to the people, “What other nation has a god as near and as just as the Lord our God whenever we call him?”

The readings to day invite us to savour and integrate that reality – the nearness and justice of God – brought to fulfillment through faith in Jesus Christ.

In the first reading today, Moses reminds the people of the law as pure gift revealing the mind and the will of God, who is justice and love. Keeping the law diligently assures them of an intimate relationship with God, the creator of the universe. The Law, or Decalogue, is actually an Old Testament version of the Incarnation, because Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, Incarnate among us.

Psalm 147 adds that the gift of the law makes them a privileged people. In the gospel, we see that Jesus came to fulfill the law and to take it to its highest level, because he is the Word of God, and the only one who could fulfill it. Keeping the law and teaching it assures one of the full experience of the reign of God.

Jesus the Teacher

Our attitude towards the law which Jesus fulfilled is important. We are to know it and keep it as best we can. We should be grateful for the law of God and live it sincerely, from the heart and teach it to others. The law that Jesus taught us is to love God with our whole being, love others as we love ourselves, love one another as he has loved us, and above all, love our enemies by forgiving them from the heart and doing good to them. As St. Augustine put it, “Love and do what you will.”

According to The Word Among Us, the reading from Deuteronomy offers us a succinct formula for growing spiritually, based on the scriptures. Here it is: “Hear … observe … live” (Deuteronomy 4:1) If we hear God’s word and observe God’s word, we will enjoy a richer spiritual life.

First, there’s hearing God’s word. There really isn’t a substitute for prayerfully reading the bible every day. Just as we aim to feed our bodies with solid, healthy food, the Word of God is like a meal for our spirit.

In terms of hearing, it is best to read the word prayerfully, asking the Holy Spirit to take the nutrients of God’s word and build us up from the inside out. As we read, we may ask, “How is this passage revealing the will of the Lord for us?” Lectio Divina is still one of the best, proven methods of pondering God’s word: Lectio, or reading; Meditatio, or pondering the word; Oratio, or having an intimate conversation with Jesus about that word and praying for others using that word; and Contemplatio – setting everything aside, trying not to think or feel anything, and just wasting time with the Lord, trusting that God is accomplishing more in us in a few minutes then we could in a few hours. Quite often I will be pleasantly surprised at how quickly a homily will emerge during that time of silent presence even when I am not thinking about it at all.

Then there’s observing God’s word – that means obeying it. We can ask ourselves, “In the light of this passage, what could I change about my life?” Just pick one thing, and try to apply it. It could be something like forgiving someone who hurt us. Or saying one encouraging thing to your spouse each day. Perhaps you might simply commit to reading the Bible for a few minutes every day. Little by little, we will be making changes; and over time these will add up to become real transformation.

Finally, live – this is a promise of blessing. It doesn’t mean we won’t face adversity or even sorrow. But it does mean that tough circumstances won’t be able to stifle the growth of our inner life. And it means that as we make those little steps in patience, humility and love, our relationship will become healthier, including our relationship with the Lord.

The Eucharist involves hearing the word of God, observing it as we worship, and also empowers us to go out and live the word as we live out the Eucharist with selfless acts of service.


Updated: March 15, 2023 — 4:04 am

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