Goodness, beauty, unity and truth

    March 6, 2024

    In the first reading, Moses speaks clearly to the people of Israel about the importance of hearing and observing the statutes and decrees — “The Law” — which God Himself is giving them. He says that if they want to live and have peace in the land they are about to enter and give evidence of wisdom and intelligence to the nations, they must follow “The Law.” Moreover, he commands them not to forget, and to teach them to their children and to their children’s children.

    This is a mandate for us individually and as a society. Moses tells us too to observe these statutes and decrees that we may live and receive “the land.” He added that by our actions we will give witness to our intelligence that others will recognize our wisdom. And finally, he concluded, we must teach them to all.

    In today’s society some influential groups are trying so hard to reinvent the wheel and come up with new made-up laws. The language used attempts to be pleasing to our senses, but in the end, they turn us against ourselves and others.

    Human experience has shown for thousands of years that by following “The Law,” we will experience in our being the goodness, beauty, unity and truth of who we are. We will find our identity. On the contrary, by trying to outsmart God, we turn against ourselves and each other. The Gospel is even more emphatic. Jesus tells us he did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it. Those that follow it will inherit “The Land,” which is the Kingdom of Heaven, and whoever teaches these commandments will be called greatest in His Kingdom.

    The Church gives us this beautiful time of Lent to remind us of these simple, yet profound truths. We can summarize it by saying that through humility and obedience to His Word, we can find peace in ourselves and with one another. Only His peace in our hearts will bring peace to others.

    Roberto Partarrieu is Executive Director of Catholic Charities of La Crosse (Wisconsin).

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