Wednesday, March 27, 2019
Today, in Mercy, our readings are all about “law”.
- Deuteronomy talks about the Law of Moses as he received it from God.
- Psalm 147 talks about God’s law as it is expressed in nature and human understanding.
- In Matthew, Jesus talks about his New Law as a development, not a contradiction, of the Old Law.
All this talk of “law” seems coincidental, doesn’t it, in these days after the Mueller report and what is within, above and beyond “the law”. So many definitions and concepts of “law”!
So, as we pray these scriptures, we might ask ourselves, “What exactly is “law”, especially in terms of my spiritual life and development?”
St. Thomas Aquinas may be a good place to start. Here are his definitions, simplified:
- Eternal Law = God’s will and guidance which orders all creatures toward the good of the universe.
- Natural Law = our self-ordering, by reason, toward this universal good.
- Human Law = particular statutes instituted in accord with human reason for the good of civil society.
- Divine Law = the revealed law of God as found in Scripture
Praying with these concepts is different from studying them.
If we pray with the concept of eternal law, we might offer praise for God’s unchanging Presence in our lives, assuring us that we are eternally loved.
If we pray with the concept of natural law, we might say of a prayer of supplication for the grace to be attuned to God in all our natural thoughts, words and actions.
If we pray with the concept of human law, we might pray in contrition for all the ways we humans mistake law for justice.
If we pray with the concept of divine law, we might offer thanks for God’s generous revelation which allows us to contemplate and grow in relationship with God.
We want our understanding and living of law to be rooted in the heart of God, according to these verse from John 6:
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life.
Let’s pray for that rootedness today.
Music: I Will Delight in the Law of the Lord – Maranatha