Third Sunday of Lent – 2018
Ten Commandments is made complete in Christ:
The Gospel of Mark, which we read last week in the Second Sunday of Lent captured the messianic mission of Christ, which is that Christ is the fulfillment of the Law (Moses) and Prophet (Elijah). By his Transfiguration, Christ gives a higher meaning to the Law, which God gave to Moses - the Ten Commandments. On this Third Sunday of Lent, that Law continues to draw us back to God. In the book of Genesis God invites us, as well as the people of Israel, to remember all the kindness, goodness and mercy he showed to their fathers, who were slaves in Egypt. He reminds them that it is proper that they realize that as God, he has no competitor – I am a jealous God. To make this love concrete, God delivered the Ten Commandments to the people of Israel through their leader, Moses.
The challenge for us today is to unravel the meaning of the Ten Commandments in light of Christ our Lord’s Messianic Mission? Hence, why did God give us his Commandments? Was it to punish us or to save us? Let us take a simple approach: if there were no traffic light to direct the flow of traffic, there would be congestion or a logjam of vehicular movements on our roads, which would lead to other consequences, resulting in late to work, delays to essential and emergency deliveries, accidents, and many other adverse effects you may think about? So, this simple traffic law can be a stoplight to what the Ten Commandments stand for? Just the same way that we enjoy peace and orderly flow of traffic on our roads; likewise, the Ten Commandments are meant to order our life towards peace and eternal joy. Would one run the red light because he is late to work? No. If he did, he would violate the law and could also cause unforeseen damages and problems. In like manner, when we disobey God’s Ten Commandments, there will be consequences. It is laughable to listen to how our society has gotten to the point that the Law of God should be subjugated to human laws. It is also true that Ten Commandments cannot be imposed on anybody, because God has given us the free will to choose to do good or do evil. Nevertheless, we cannot trash the Ten Command-ments or pretend that they belong to the ancient past and, therefore, they are archaic. No. The Ten Commandments are potent and active in our daily life. This is why Christ is the epitome and embodiment of the Law and Prophet. To always remind you and me that we need to keep God’s Laws; that there will be consequences for our choices, reward for those who followed the letters and spirit of the law and, of course, never to be a slave to the law; and naturally punishment for those who abandoned the law. As we continue to walk with Christ during this Lenten Season, may we keep our gaze focused on the Lord, and refuse to be cowed by the evil of secularism and anti-Christian values in our world today. Let us remain faithful and be steadfast in our belief in our Savior, and always remember that Christ awaits us with open arms with love and mercy at the Sacrament of Reconciliation – do not doubt; do not argue, for with God, there is no doubts or arguments.
Father Uche Obikwelu