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March 2, 2016

 Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

The good news for the Day

Jesus said to those learning from Him: “Don’t imagine I have come to get rid of what you learned from tradition—Law—and their Truth—Prophets. I have come not to get rid of them but to show how to put them into practice.” (Matthew 5, 17)

Here you can see whether you cherish the past, and use it.

In your lifetime, you have learned so much—about goodness, politics, feelings, anger, and religion—as well as how to hammer a nail and clean a toilet. You have acquired a fund of knowledge both practical and principled. You believe certain things. You can do certain things.

Jesus reminds you to keep all of it. These are your “Law”—and in Hebrew, the word for law (torah) means both written codes and verbal traditions handed down from generation to generation. You have all sorts of advice to guide you—maps in your mind and wisdom—a whole range of “directions” you have absorbed and are available. Some contradict each other. Some are useless. Some are essential in daily life.

The point for you is not to just follow directions blindly, mechanically. In practice, you sift for their value, discarding and disregarding some and selecting others to use thoughtfully. That is your daily job—to take advice, find truth in a directive—and its value for your life. You do this anyway—but on what basis—do you give Life? Or is it just a rerun of a practice?

The Good News is the reminder from Jesus that both Law and Prophets are about giving and inspiring Life. He has come—You have come—to select and live those life-giving directives that guide you into sharing a life rich with humility, forgiveness, hunger for justice, and service. You “fulfill the law and the prophets” by that process. You listen to directions, you sift them for their benefits to others—and then apply them.

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