THIRD WEEK OF LENT
Wednesday, March 22
Class of 2017
Strengthen the Gates of Your Heart
“Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion! For He strengthens the bars of your gates; He blesses your sons within you. He sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs swiftly.” -Psalm 147: 12 - 15
In the reading today from Deuteronomy, we are asked, “For what great nation is there that has gods so close to it as the Lord, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?” (Dt 4:7). Jesus tells us to observe the commandments carefully (Dt 4:6). This is our duty, our wisdom, and discernment in the midst of our everyday life (Dt 4:6). Jesus came to fill the earth full of God’s grace, and we are here on earth to fulfill God’s plan for us. The passage in Deuteronomy suggests that we must stay on guard and be careful not to forget to obey the commandments (Dt 4:8-9). God gave us instructions on how we can grow in relationship with Him and live an eternal life with Him. God gives us so much and asks so little of us. After all, He has given us everything, and even died for our sins, can we spare a few pleasures of our own? Especially pleasures that lead us astray from God? He will help us. He is always present in us.
The Psalm for today’s reflection reminds us to guard our hearts. This means that we need to strengthen the gates to our soul. Consider that your soul is behind a strong gate. Think of the walls of Jerusalem as God’s people. They are the ones who believe in the death and resurrection of Jesus. God wants to strengthen the gates and the wall of Jerusalem, which is our heart. We must collectively and individually seek and learn His statutes and laws, and secure them within the walls of our hearts so that we can be prepared for the battles of this world. Jesus is always with us and will always be a shining and guiding light in our life if we follow Him.
Lent can be a time of reflection for us to look at our own lives. How can we best serve God? How can we help Him, just as He helped us? Can’t we just love our neighbor? There is already enough hate in the world, why add to it? At the end of Lent, will you be able to say that you conformed your life to Christ and grew in your relationship with Him?
Dear Lord, please continue to be a shining light in my life and secure Your statutes within the gate of my heart. Please watch over me in times of trial as I strive to lead by Your example and follow Your commandments. Amen.
Dt 4:1, 5-9 Ps 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20 Mt 5:17-19