July 23, 2021
by Jeanne Schuler
Creighton University's Philsophy Department
click here for photo and information about the writer

Friday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 399

Exodus 20:1-17
Psalm 19:8, 9, 10, 11
Matthew 13:18-23

Praying Ordinary Time

Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

“The ordinances of the Lord…are more precious than gold…sweeter also than syrup or honey.” (Psalm 19: 10 – 11)

In song and dance the ancient people celebrated the law.  Refreshment for the soul, trusted wisdom, rejoicing the heart.  God’s word lives among us.  The commandments revealed to Moses on the mountain were the first of over 600 laws.  From their guidance daily life takes shape.

Every land has customs and rules.  Some gods rule by fear and harsh demands.  Yahweh delivers law in a personal way: I am your God.  We have been through so much together.  Keep me in your heart.  We work hard.  Let us rest together on the sabbath.  Teach your children well.  The path of holiness is within reach.  Respect others and live in peace.  Never forget my love for you. 

For some, laws are engraved in black and white.  They rule with a rod.  Don’t ask questions.  Don’t think.  Just obey.  Only the few with authority get to judge.  These views diminish our humanity.  If God wants robots, there is no need for law.

Law depends on freedom.  As reflection deepens, the law illumines diverse strands in the situations we face.  We ponder complexity, seek understanding, and detest hypocrisy.  The commandments we memorized as children continue to go deeper.  Young and old bring insights to the table.  The spirit speaks through this motley crowd.  We listen closely and stumble forward together.

Some are aware of their freedom and frailty.  Sinners, they are not immobilized by their defects.  The seed drops into their soul and erupts with energy.  The poor know the richness of God.

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