March 12, 2022
Saturday of the First Week of Lent
Moses spoke to the people, saying:
“This day the LORD, your God,
commands you to observe
these statutes and decrees.
Be careful, then,
to observe them
with all your heart
and with all your soul.
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, Moses tells us this:
Be careful, then …Dt. 26:17
Be careful of what? Does Moses mean be careful like, ”Don’t fall down the steps!”. Or does he mean be careful like, “Hold tenderly to love in your life.”?
In this passage from Deuteronomy, Moses goes on to say one of my favorite biblical phrases:
… today the LORD is making this agreement with you:Dt. 26:18
you are to be a people peculiarly his own, as he promised you…
Since the 17th century, the word “peculiar” has taken on the meaning of “odd” or “unusual”. But the original sense comes from the Latin peculiarismeaning “of private property”
Moses is reminding us that we belong to God and God to us in a covenant similar to, but far exceeding, the mutuality of a marriage.
So we should “be careful”, full of care, in appreciation for this infinite love.
In our Gospel, Jesus tells us how to take this exquisite care of our precious relationship with God:
But I say to you, love your enemies,Matthew 5: 44-48
and pray for those who persecute you,
that you may be children of your heavenly Father,
for God makes the sun rise on the bad and the good,
and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.
… Be compassionate as your Heavenly Father is compassionate.
Poetry: Tenderness – Rumi
When inward tenderness
finds the secret hurt,
pain itself will crack the rock and
Ah! let the soul emerge.
Music: Compassion Hymn – The Gettys