Wednesday, March 30, 2011

It Doesn't Matter

With all the times that the Lord called the scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, people must have been getting the idea that He did not care about the law and that it did not really matter whether or not they followed it. This was something that the Lord felt a need to correct, and He does so in a strong way in today's Gospel (Matthew 5: 17-19). Not only does He state that the law will not pass away, but goes on to warn that it will not be pleasant for those who teach others to disregard the law.
The sort of attitude was not unique to the Lord's time. With an attitude toward civil laws that tries to find ways to ignore or outright break them, it is no wonder that many have transferred this way of thinking to Go's laws as well. Stealing become "borrowing" things from work. Nothing wrong with a "little white lie". Cheating on taxes is fine - everyone does it. So what if I can not pay for the things I really want? I can just charge it and then declare bankruptcy - no one will get hurt.
The Ten Commandments have become ten suggestions, that too often we feel can be set aside because of my wants, my desires, my dreams. Surely God, who lives me so much, won't hold it against me! I can always just go to confession and, presto, it will all go away!
We are naive to think that God does not care, that our sins really do not matter, that the law is for everyone else. Jesus makes it very clear that it is still, and will always be in effect for us. Maybe we need to go back to the basics and revisit the Ten Commandments. And I am not talking about making sure that children memorize them. How about us adults? Even if we do remember them, do we follow them? The concept of obeying is not easy for us, especially those of us who live in a country that places such a high value on "individual rights". But we can never think that it doesn't matter whether or not we follow God's law. It matters very much to God. And, whether we realize it or not, it really matters to us.

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