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Lenten Weekday
Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Matthew 5:17-19
In Deuteronomy, Moses exhorts his people to hear and follow the law as wis-
dom of the Lord, so that they may live and experience the good and just life the
Lord is leading them to. The Psalmist invites Jerusalem to praise the Lord for the
security and prosperity the Lord has given to the nation -- the People of God
whose law and prophetic word were for a time declared only to them. Jesus ex-
plains he has not come to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill them; he
tells us one may be great within the Kingdom by obeying and teaching the com-
mandments of the law.
Jesus embraces the letter of each Jewish law to fulfill the spirit of all: right rela-
tionship with God and neighbor.
The Lenten spirit of reconciliation to that right relationship calls us to examine
our consciences, confess and repent of our sins, and do more fully
what Jesus would do. We thus pray to the Father, “thy kingdom come,
thy will be done.”
The divine will is this: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your
heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. …. You shall love
your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the
Law and the prophets." (Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) ¶
2055, citing Matthew 22: 36-40.) The Ten Commandments “must be
interpreted in light of this twofold yet single commandment of
love….” (CCC ¶ 2055.)
The Fifth Commandment first comes to my mind. “You shall not kill.” It
applies to abortion (CCC ¶¶ 2270-2275) and respect for health (CCC ¶¶
2288-2291), to name just two issues.
On abortion, the Church teaches: “From the first moment of his exis-
tence, a human being must be recognized as having the rights of a