Year B: Third Sunday of Lent

First Reading: Exodus 20: 1-17


Today, we meet another key-figure of the the Old Testament - Moses. After their wanderings in the desert - all the grumbling and murmuring - the people are close to the Promised Land. They are being formed into a nation - and a nation has to have laws.


However, this people is no ordinary people, it is the People of God. Their Law is to be what sets them apart - and what enables them to be a light to the other nations of the world. Their Law is given to them by God and is not meant as a straight-jacket but as offering them a way of life which will help them to as individuals and as a people.


We usually call this part of the Law the “Ten Commandments” - for the obvious reason that there are ten sayings (or “decalogue” - another word occasionally used). However, if we look closely, we can see that they are not straightforward commands - do this/ don’t do that. They are much more subtle and speak more of the kind of People they will be...


They will be a people who will not have any other gods - they won’t steal or commit adultery - or allow covetousness to take root in their hearts.


Because God is at the centre of their nation, they will find that, over time, they become less and less able to steal - or cheat - or kill. They will become a Godly people.


What does it mean for me?

Read through the commandments - or decalogue again - and imagine a society in which people had reached that level of moral and spiritual maturity.


Is it a society where you would feel at home? Does such a society bear any resemblance to the Kingdom that Jesus speaks of? Does this help to explain what Jesus meant when he said that he was for the fulfilment of the Law - not its abolition?

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