Reflection for the First Saturday of Lent

In the reading from Deuteronomy, the Israelite people promise to follow God’s laws and walk in his ways. God, in turn, promises to bless the people of Israel. The psalm reinforces this, saying “Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!” To follow God’s law is the easiest way to walk in his ways. But we cannot let the law become an end to itself—we must always remember that God is the measure, not mankind or a book of law.

Jesus reminds us of this in the Gospel today, where he tells us to “be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We are called to go beyond the law, to be perfect. For example, Jesus tells us not simply to love God, but also to love our enemies. To be perfect is impossible for human beings, which is why we must constantly ask God for help. By submitting ourselves to the mercy of God, and praying for his assistance, we can be assured that he will eventually grant us the grace to be perfect if we do our best to follow in his ways.

Today’s Readings: Dt 26:16-19; Ps 119:1-2, 4-5, 7-8; Mt 5:43-48

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