Lent 2021

God’s Commandments Bring True Freedom, Peace and Harmony

Posted on March 2, 2021 by Published by

3rd Sunday of Lent – Year B

Within our country and throughout the world, civil laws are being enacted that directly violate God’s laws and the natural law. Our modern society has drifted so far from God’s Law—the Ten Commandments—that it calls evil good and good, evil.

When God led the Israelites into the desert and gave them the Ten Commandments through Moses, they considered this act a great privilege and grace—an awesome sign of God’s Love: “It was not because you are more numerous than all the peoples that the LORD set his heart on you and chose you; for you are really the smallest of all peoples. It was because the LORD loved you and because of his fidelity to the oath he had sworn to your ancestors, that the LORD brought you out with a strong hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh, king of Egypt. Know, then, that the LORD, your God, is God: the faithful God who keeps covenant mercy to the thousandth generation toward those who love him and keep his commandments …” (Deut 4:7-9).

By bringing the Chosen People into the desert, God liberated them not only from physical slavery under Pharaoh, but also from moral slavery to the immoral pagan practices of the Egyptians. Through the Ten Commandments, God gives the Israelites (and us) a guide on how to live in freedom and peace with Him and with each other. And this is what we all desire, is it not: peace in our homes, peace in our country, peace in the world?

The reason we do not have peace today is because many people do not follow the Commandments. In fact, many Catholics and even Christians think that the Ten Commandments are a burden, or optional. “They make me feel guilty,” they claim. “They limit my freedom,” they say. What is worse: they even claim that what God has said is evil is actually good. True freedom, however, is not license to do whatever we want and harm ourselves and other people in the process. True freedom means living by God’s Commands so that, as St. Thomas Aquinas argues, we can be free to choose to do the good and love God and our neighbor. We do not belong to ourselves. We belong to God. And only when we start believing and acting like this, by living according to the Ten Commandments with the help and grace of the Sacraments, will we, society, and the nations of the world truly live in peace and harmony.

Yours in Christ,
Father Arthur

Readings for the Third Sunday of Lent: Lectionary 29

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