Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Very Near to You

Is God’s Word written on your heart? Is it constantly in your mind and on your lips? Listen to the first reading next Sunday, Dt. 30:10-14. In a simple lyrical way, Moses explains the nearness of God’s commands to our hearts. “It is not up in the sky, that you should say, ‘Who will go up in the sky and get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’ Nor is it across the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may carry it out?’ No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.”

It seems to me that Moses uses a love language here, speaking of God’s Word as something so precious and dear to us that it is written on our hearts; it is something we can fall in love with. How often have we heard stories told of a love between two people so strong that no matter how physically far apart they are, they carry each other in their hearts? We see in the Responsorial Psalm (2nd option): “Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life.” “They are more precious than gold, than a heap of purest gold; sweeter also than syrup or honey from the comb.” Psalm 19:8-11

God’s Word is precious. It is near to us. This passage beautifully, poetically demonstrates this truth. Yet, at the same time, the frankness of it is quite scary. If God’s word is written on our hearts, then how many of us turn away from what we already know is Truth? In this passage, Moses is telling the people that they do not need someone to go and get the Word for them and tell it to them in order for them to follow it. No, instead it is something so close to them that they know it without being told. All they must do is follow.

Yet how many men and women today continue to ignore what is written on their hearts as sons and daughters of God? How many people have abortions, enter into homo-sexual relations, co-habitate, look at pornography, commit acts of hate, turn away from the Church? How many of us who go to Church every Sunday and listen to the Word of God, spoken right in front of us, go back Monday morning to focusing on worldly things, more worried about money, material wealth, and selfish desires than God?

We see our culture falling apart around us. Yet we sit idly by watching others fall into this numbness to sin. We think things like, “That is their business. I don’t judge them. They don’t know better. I don’t really know what is going on in their life.” But they do know better! We know better! It is written on our hearts! The truth is, if we don’t hold each other accountable, God will hold us all accountable. If we don’t speak the truth that is so near to us, then we will fall into the same trap. We will begin to become immune to our conscience. We will start to cut off that place in our hearts where God’s Word resides. We will shut off that essential artery so that the blood of the Spirit won’t mix with our fleshly desires. We will cut a hole in our heart where the Truth lives so that we can say it never was there. And, without that essential blood flow, our spirit will begin to die.

We can’t afford to let that happen. We can’t allow our society to go on telling us that God is just an addition to our lives, that our Faith is something we do when we feel like it, that His Word is only meant for those who care to listen. We can’t go on pretending that we are ignorant to His Truth. We are not ignorant; his commands are in our mouths and in our hearts. He is a just God, and He will judge us accordingly.

God has given us His treasured Word, “more precious than gold”, “refreshing the soul” and “rejoicing the heart” (Ps. 19:8). He brings it very near to us, writing it on our very being. Fall in love with His word; keep it ever in your heart and on your lips. Speak it loudly and boldly, knowing that this Truth you speak to others, they already know; they just need someone to remind them. We know the Truth; live it!

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