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Wednesday, March 18, 1998

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St. Cyril of Jerusalem

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Psalm 147
Matthew 5:17-19

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"Whoever breaks the least significant of these commands and teaches others to do so shall be called least in the kingdom of God. Whoever fulfills and teaches these commands shall be great in the kingdom of God." —Matthew 5:19

We often view God's laws in a stupid, adolescent way. We feel they are mere prohibitions or burdens. However, His laws are life-saving insights into life. For example, we can learn that contraceptive marital sexual relations will undermine a marriage by causing alienation between the spouses and often divorce. We can learn this from God's law and use this revelation to protect and nurture marriage, or we can learn this by having our hearts broken through many years of marital conflict. How many people have proven the truth of God's law by not following it, and thereby turned their lives into experiments that have failed miserably?

How precious is God's law! It is worth more than thousands of gold and silver pieces (Ps 119:72). It is a lamp to our feet and light to our path (Ps 119:105). Even the smallest part of a letter of God's law is to be cherished and lovingly obeyed (see Mt 5:18).

Observe God's law "carefully, for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations, who will hear of all these statutes and say, 'This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people' " (Dt 4:6).

Prayer:  Father, send the Holy Spirit to me so that I can obey and live the law of the Spirit (Rm 8:2).

Promise:  "Hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you." —Dt 4:1

Praise:  Cyril defended the divinity of Christ, and, as a result, was exiled four times for a total of eleven years.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Obedience School.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, July 26, 1997

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 29, 1997