Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Wednesday of the Third Week
This past October, I had a chance to visit Ellis Island for the first time. As a student of history, it was amazing to see this iconic location first hand. During my visit, I had a chance to explore an exhibit which included an interactive sample citizenship test based on the same questions new Americans must take. Thankfully, I passed.

As I read today’s readings I couldn’t help but think about how both the U.S citizenship exam and Moses’ plea to his people focus on the written law. In both cases, demonstrating knowledge of the law leads to being a better citizen. 

Yet, somewhere along the way, we seem to have come to believe that being a citizen in God’s kingdom—on Earth or in Heaven—has more to do with following religious laws and practices created by man. We’ve become focused on how one denomination differs from another. We put more credence into our own religious practices than the Gospel message.  We become lost in debating the nuances and differences in our doctrines, practices, and beliefs.  These become dogmas that take our eyes and hearts away from treating each other as fellow children of God and being humble. 

Rather, should we not focus on God’s original intentions and laws, both embodied in our Lord Jesus Christ? Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus came to fulfill God’s Commandments. Love and honor your God. Love thy Neighbor. Honor your Mother and Father. Do not kill. Do not covet. Going further, Jesus outlines in the Beatitudes how we could best live out God’s Commandments. Hunger and thirst for righteousness. Show mercy. Mourn. Be a peacemaker. Clean your heart. Be meek.  Let us take today, and the rest of Lent, to reflect on and heed God’s laws and the original intention to treat everyone as a child of God.

Dear God, help me today to focus on Your laws. Guide my thoughts and action to treat everyone as a child of God. Let my treatment of others be a testament to being a citizen of the kingdom of God.

Chad T. Ahern, ’99, M’12, Donor Relations Officer


First Reading: Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website

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