Follow the Rules

Readings for Wednesday June 10, 2009

First Reading: 2 Corinthians 3:4-11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 99
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:17-19)

It seems as though in today's world, many people are drawn to the "bad boy" or "rebellious" image. Some how many people associate being cool with breaking the rules. While part of us may desire this, is this what we really want, a world of rebels? How many of us want a rebel as a spouse? As a child? As a parent? As a teacher? As a political leader? In reality we do not want to be close to those who consistently break the rules and are unstable; we want someone who we can depend on, someone who doesn't ignore the rules but rather follows them. Many times we get messages from the culture that says we should want to be an individual and to be a rebel, but this is not what we are called to be. We are sons and daughters of God, and as good sons and daughters we need to follow the rules that were given to us.

The fact is that God gave us the ten commandments because we need rules, we need a set of criteria to go by that says "Hey, here is how you need to live." Without the rules, one does not have the compass that one needs to know how to live, and how to make correct and moral decisions. Jesus came not to abolish the commandments, but to fulfill them. When Jesus came and preached, He showed us that the commandments were not a minimum standard that we all need to meet to get into heaven, but rather the rules by which we should begin to build our life around. We are not just called to love our neighbor, but to love all those around us. We are not just called to avoid acts of adultery, but to not even look at a man or woman lustfully.

The commandments should not be looked at as a set of rules that are meant to bind and tie us down. They are not meant to inhibit us from living, but rather the commandments allow us to experience freedom on this earth. Freedom from sin that ties and binds us to this world. By following the commandments we are able to live, and live free. By following these rules, we will not only experience freedom on earth, but an eternal life in heaven.

Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, we thank you for giving us your commandments, give us the strength and courage to follow your rules no matter what. Lord, we know that you seek to give us life, and to experience it more fully, helps us to always be thankful for your great love and mercy. Lord, we pray for all those who are oppressed and bound to this earth, may they experience your truth and the freedom that only comes with knowing you. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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