10 March, Wednesday — Fulfilling the law

Wednesday of the 3rd week of Lent

Deu 4:1,5-9
Mt 5:17-19

“I have come not to abolish but to complete them.”

During a session with my parish group recently, the visiting priest asked us to describe the state of our spiritual lives at the present moment. At the end of our sharing, the priest remarked that all of us had mentioned things that we were doing or not doing. It seemed that our spiritual lives were defined by our actions. Of course, praying and reading scripture are acts that are essential to spiritual growth, but the priest emphasised that what is most important is being with God. It’s akin to a Martha versus Mary situation, where Martha busied herself with one task after another on her to-do list, while Mary simply sat with Jesus.

In the gospel passage for today, Jesus talks about the purpose of the Law (as in, the law according to the teachings of our faith). What is this purpose? Jesus said that He is the fulfilment of this Law, so I would infer that the purpose is to live a life according to Christ. Therefore, Christ must be at the centre of our lives. Adherence to the commandments is more than a matter of principle or morality; being obedient to the Law is being obedient to Christ.

For Lent this year, I decided to do more spiritual reading, go for weekday mass once a week, and attend an online weekly Lenten seminar. These activities are more than what I would usually do for Lent, but it is easy to fall into the trap of feeling assured by the quantity of actions done and neglect the true movements of the heart. As things go, I realise that in spite of these increased ‘connection points’ with God, I am still easily swayed by external events around me. I cannot seem to get a firm grip on the belief that I am personally loved by God. Therefore, it becomes difficult to really trust in God’s grace and to look beyond the present circumstances. Without this trust, the reason for obeying the Law becomes shaky, and the inclination towards sin grows. I will continue to pray for a conversion of heart this Lent.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Edith Koh)

Prayer: We pray for a deeper recognition of God’s grace in our lives. In doing so, may we allow His grace to transform our way of living.

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the availability of resources that enable us to have increased opportunities to learn and appreciate the goodness and the saving love of our Lord.


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