In the patriotic hymn “America The Beautiful”, the second verse concludes with “America, America, God mend thine every flaw; Confirm thy soul in self-control; Thy liberty in law”. Laws are always necessary in any society in order to preserve liberty. And a good society is always evaluating, amending, changing – or even removing – its laws as circumstances change in order to ensure that laws remain just. Of course, I’m talking about man’s laws. Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel that He has come, not to abolish the Law (God’s Law), but to fulfill it. If it is the case that human laws are good and necessary, insofar as they are just, then certainly God’s Law is good and necessary for us. Our Savior teaches us the goodness of God’s Law when it is lived in freedom, and not under compulsion. Perhaps it is easier to see this if we think of God’s love for us, and the love we are to have for God. Love, by its very nature, must be given freely. God invites us to love Him; and He shows His own love for us by the gift of His own Son. He also invites us in freedom to live according to his Law.
I wish to welcome Blest Art to SSPP this weekend. They offer beautifully carved olive wood statues, crucifixes, rosaries, etc. from Bethlehem. Your purchases help to support Christian artisans on the Holy Land.
And, speaking of the Holy Land, I am making preparations for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land in January 2024. I have set the date for the pilgrimage for January 22 - February 1, 2024. This will be my eighth pilgrimage to the Holy Land. I’ll have brochures (with full itinerary, registration info and costs) available in 4 - 6 weeks. In the meantime: Mark your calendar!
May God bless you!