September 03, 2006

Jesus, I Trust In You!

Today's theme at church was about differences of observing the commandments and human traditions. The liturgical readings today spoke about the importance of commandments to help us lead a good life. The 1st reading from Deuteronomy (Dt 4:1-2, 6-8) reminds us that the commandments which Moses presents to the Israelites is to help guide them be a great people by careful observance, i.e. "In your observance of the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin upon you, you shall not add to what I command you nor subtract from it." (verse 2).

The 2nd reading from the letter of James (Jas 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27) reminds us that we should not be hearers (and readers) of the Word, but also doers as well, i.e. "But you must do what the Word tells you and not just listen to it and deceive yourselves.". By this, he means that one should not think that he can be holy by just only listening to the Word of God. We need to live the Word of God in our lives.

The Gospel of Mark (Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23) elaborates further by Jesus telling the Pharisees that they, being hypocrites only provided God lipservice (verse 6) and they have put aside the commandment of God to ovserve human traditions (verse 8). Jesus goes on to say that it is not what that goes into a man which makes him unclean, but it is what comes out of a man which makes him unclean (verses 20-23). What Jesus meant to say is that it is not enough that we listen to the Word of God, we need to live it as well.

During the sermon, the priest mentioned that he saw some road signs while driving along the road in US. The first one he saw was, "THINK GOD". The second one was, "FEEL GOD", and finally the last one was "DO GOOD". This message had a profound meaning to me as I pondered about the message as how many times we profess that we believe in Him but yet, we fail to do His works?

I recalled back as I came to church, I encountered some very nasty drivers who had no considerations about the safety of other drivers on the road. I remembered feeling angry about them but when it came time to admit our sins in front of God, I remembered the words of the prayer "I Confess", where it states, "... that I have sinned in my thoughts and words, in what I have done, and in what I have failed to do...". I prayed for forgiveness that I had failed to forgive those who crossed my path. In this, I had failed to do good by being more considerate.

The priest then asked the congregation if there is anyone who could truly profess that "Jesus, I trust in You!" always and every chance they can get. Not when they have problems, or when they're sick, but at every chance they get. I found myself thinking that I lack the faith and trust in Him to say this. I reflect on the many times in which I asked God for strength and help when I came upon a crossroads in my life. I now realize that I should have said to God, "I leave this in Your Hands, I trust in You that You will give me wisdom to choose the right path!"

At the end of the sermon, the priest closed by saying that the Pharisees have missed the biggest point that Jesus was trying to sell to us, that "Love Your Neighbour As Yourself", because that commandment supercedes all the commandments which God gave to us. Only through Love that we will be able to follow the commandments God gave us, only through Love, all things are possible. When we surrender ourselves to God fully, by trusting Him fully, in his Love, we are free. We need not hide behind traditions and laws which humans have created because this is not what He wants from us. He wants us to live fully in His Love.



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