Daily Reflection
March 29th, 2000
Steve Kline
Public Relations
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Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Psalms 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Matthew 5:17-19

This is frustrating.

Nothing in today's readings seems to speak to my heart, and I don't know how to muster a reflection.  Maybe this is why I need a law.  When times are tough and the counsel of my own heart fails me, I need some guidepost.

That seems so simple, so obvious.  There must be more to it.  Or am I overcomplicating things?

The passage from Deuteronomy ends with a word about teaching children:  I respond to that, but purely on an intellectual level.  In the same passage, as well as in the psalm, it seems as if observance of the law gives God's people "bragging rights:"  "For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?"  

In Matthew, Jesus tells me that if I violate the law and teach others to do so, I will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.  If I keep the law and teach others to do so, I will be called greatest.  This does not kindle the flame of desire in my heart.  Is being called "least" or "greatest" a good motivation?  It might be that these words are addressed to a time and a place so distant from my own that I simply fail to grasp what's at work here.  

"Law" must mean different things in each of these readings.  If I understand the law as something that helps me have reverence for God, for life and for my own sacredness, I am closer to touching a heartfelt chord.

Maybe it boils down to the simple fact that God plants in me a desire to do the right thing, but often I am distracted by my powerful appetites and desires.  Acting alone without the aid of God and His law, I hurt other people.  But I am never alone.  Everything I do affects some other person.  So I always need God.

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