Daily Reflection
March 10th, 1999
Kathy Kanavy
Institute for Priestly Formation
Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Matthew 5:17-19
  Deep within I will plant my law,
Not on stone but in your heart.
Follow me.  I will bring you back.
You will be my own and I will be your God.
(From“Deep Within” by David Haas  based on Jeremiah 31:33)

Our Scripture readings for today, Wednesday of the third week of Lent, focus our hearts on the “law of the Lord.”  When we hear about these laws, we often think in legalistic terms where questions such as, “What do I need to do to fulfill the criteria?” enter our hearts.  Although the observance of such laws are part of our Christian lives, I would like to suggest that what God calls us to is much more radical.

Listen to the words which Moses spoke to the Israelites:  “Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.” Notice here he speaks of life and of receiving new fullness which the Lord is offering.  Here God has already taken the initiative, leading the people into a new home and a new life as he leads them out of slavery.  Notice too the absence of, “This is what you need to do to measure up and to be worthy of God’s love.”  What is striking is God’s initiative which provides “the law” of life.

What does this have to say to us?

God is calling us today-- as in everyday-- to trust His providential care by entrusting our lives into the law of love that He has “planted in our hearts.”  Far from giving us a set of rules to measure up to, our tender God has implanted His law, His life, deep within.  Our choice each day is to say “yes” to this law of love which urges us to die to self and to receive and act out of the love and mercy that our Father lavishly bestows on us.  Ironically in observing the commandments and in resting in the beauty of the beatitudes as a map for our Christian life, God has given us not rules to fulfill but the path to receive His Love and His fullness of life, which is far beyond our understanding.

The path of life is deepened through daily prayer.  One of the best definitions of prayer I’ve heard is Prayer is permitting God to love me.

I invite us into taking time today, and each day, for “prayer”—time to permit God to love us.  Here we can rest in gratitude to God for giving us the law of love that leads us along the path of His life dwelling deep within our own hearts.

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