I have always been a rule follower; I have also always had a great fear of getting in trouble.
When I was young, I was just like the Pharisees in today’s Gospel, Mathew 12:1-8, tattling on siblings or classmates when they were breaking the rules (I annoy myself just thinking about it). One of my high school friends, who is now a priest, finds great delight in recounting the times when he and my older sister would spend time together at our family home. Every time, I would make absolutely certain he followed the rules and left by curfew at 11 p.m. on the dot.
Being a rule follower has made a journey as a Catholic an interesting thing—there are many “rules,” as many view them, and I have had to allow the Lord to teach me how to follow the rules out of love for Him rather than following the rules for fear of getting in trouble (or beyond this, only for fear of going to Hell).
It has been a journey; it has not been easy, and it is still not easy.
What the Lord has been revealing on this journey is the meaning of the words in today’s Gospel, “I desire mercy, not sacrifice” (Matthew 12:7). He has shown me His heart of compassion, revealing to me that if I am following the rules without any love for Him, desire to know Him, devotion to Him—then my adherence to the rules is empty.
I am a work in progress on this, and maybe you are, too. It will be a continual effort throughout my life to follow the “rules” and commandments laid out for me as a way to say, “Because I love You, Jesus!” rather than “Because I fear getting in trouble, Jesus!” I take the journey one day at a time, as each of our journeys to love Jesus more always are just that . . . one day at a time.
Today, I invite you to reflect on your reasons for following the commandments and the teachings of our beloved Church. When your reasons are motivated by love for Him, it can change everything.It can change everything. // @emwilss Click To Tweet
Thank you for being here.
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