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Wednesday, third week of Lent

March 30, 2011

Blessed Wednesday!

Lord, during this Lenten season
nourish us with Your Word of life
and make us one in love and prayer.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.
(Opening Prayer for today’s Mass)

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9 (God’s law gives justice, intelligence and wisdom)
Psalm 147:12-20 “Praise the Lord, Jerusalem”
+Matthew 5:17-19 (Jesus came to fulfill the law, not abolish it)

This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people
-Deuteronomy 4:6

There’s something to be said for having the inside scoop from the Creator Himself,
Who knows our intricacies inside and out,
Who knows what works for us and what doesn’t,
and Who didn’t want us to have to learn the hard way.

…but there’s a catch.
We will only be a wise and intelligent people
if we put into practise the wise and intelligent statutes and decrees
that our Creator has provided for us
instead of trying to learn on our own by trial and error
(which usually involves an awful lot of error).

It helps if we know what they are.
That’s why Moses was so insistent about the need memorize God’s commands
and to teach them to our children and our children’s children
(not only does teaching preserve God’s gift through future generations,
but the best way to learn something is to teach it).

That’s why Jesus made it abundantly clear that He did not come to abolish
this treasure of wisdom and intelligence.
He didn’t come to retract His gift.
He didn’t come to make us stupid!

He came to change our hearts,
to equip us to keep the law,
to give us a burning passion for divine wisdom
that wouldn’t give way to the short-term pleasure or convenience of folly.

That, too, requires our participation.
He has equipped us–not forced us.
We can still choose stupidity.

This would be a good day to review the wisdom God has revealed to us,
especially via an examination of conscience
and see where we might need a change of course.
A more ambitious option would be to read Part Three, paragraphs 1691-2557,
of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (or just the “In Brief” sections).

Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.
Drill them into your children.
Speak of them at home and abroad, whether you are busy or at rest.
Bind them at your wrist as a sign
and let them be as a pendant on your forehead.
Write them on the doorposts of your houses and on your gates.
-Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Live them.

Then you will be truly wise and intelligent people…
and great in the Kingdom of Heaven (see Matthew 5:19)

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