Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we are reminded of God’s laws and commandments, which He had given to all of us as guidance and help for us to go through with this life, as guidelines for us to follow and to obey, so that our lives will be in accordance to how the Lord wants them to be, righteous and just, so that we will be found worthy in the eyes of the Lord.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today in the first reading from the Book of Deuteronomy, we heard how Moses told the people of Israel that they have been blessed far more than that of the other nations, because they have received God’s laws and commandments, which God had given them not to punish them, persecute them or to give them unnecessary burden, but instead to keep them safe, to be protected, and to be able to find their way safely through the darkened world, that they would not lose their way.
It is by the great grace of God that we have received such privilege to follow the laws and commandments God gave, but many of us did not realised just how blessed we are, for we often think of God’s laws as burdens and unnecessary things for us to do. In fact, many of us have that misconception, that Jesus came so that we no longer have to worry about anything, that as long as we believe in Him, then we are certain of being saved and be in the state of grace.
Unfortunately, as what Jesus our Lord Himself mentioned at the Gospel passage today, He came into this world not to undo or overcome the Law with a different set of laws and commandments, but instead, to fulfil it and to complete it with perfection, beyond all other things that mankind had added to the Law, all their imperfect human laws, rules and regulations.
What does this mean? Over time, the Law of God had become corrupted and twisted by how the people of God utilised it and perceived it, and the divine laws of God had been subverted and overcome by the concerns and rules of man, established by the people themselves, as how they interpreted the Law of God. But this over time resulted in the Law itself losing its true meaning and purpose, and that was why Jesus was often so critical at the Pharisees and at the teachers of the Law, because they imposed their version of God’s law, and yet in their actions and deeds, they do not belong to God.
And in all of these, we have to come to an understanding of what God’s law is truly about, brothers and sisters in Christ. The Law of God is the Law of love, which God had given to us to teach us about love, through which all of us mankind will be able to find our way to our Lord and loving God. He wanted to teach us love, and that is why He sent us the ultimate form of His love, Jesus, through Whom He endeavoured to save us all, His beloved children.
And He did not just say it out, but He indeed showed it by His own example, the perfect example of love shown through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. Jesus Himself mentioned that there is no better love than for someone to lay down his life for a friend, and that was exactly what He had done, for all of us, His beloved people, His dear friends, His children.
As He has loved us and showed us that great love, all of us should therefore love Him in the same manner that He has loved us. That is the first of God’s great commandments, that all of us ought to love God with all of our heart, with all of our strength, with all of our minds and hearts, to be His servant and His people filled with love, genuine love, both for God and also for our fellow brethren.
In this season of Lent, all of us Christians are called to be more loving, forgiving and be gracious in all of our ways. All of us are called to follow the Lord in His loving ways, by obeying what He had taught us to do. Let us all reflect on our actions and deeds. Have we all been faithful to the Lord in the way that we should do? Have all of us been loving and forgiving just as our God has loved us and as how He was willing to forgive us?
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us all commit ourselves anew to the Lord, using the opportunity granted to us to change our ways and to rediscover the way towards God’s righteousness. May all of us draw ever closer to God, and follow Him in all things. May the Lord empower us and strengthen us in faith, now and forevermore. Amen.