[T]ake care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live.
Day Nineteen of Lent: Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent – Deuteronomy 4:9
“However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live” – Deuteronemy 4:9.
Today’s Lenten Reflection
Our memory is a fascinating thing. For better or for worse, we have the uncanny ability to savor certain memories while pushing others aside. In today’s Gospel message, the first apostles are commanded by Jesus to remember, preserve, and pass on all they had heard from and witnessed by Him. Similarly, it is critical for us today to learn and pass on that same Tradition – that precious deposit of faith – which has been handed down to us from the earliest apostles. What a gift!
Take a moment to think about your own knowledge of what was handed down to the first apostles. Ask yourself if there are any elements of Tradition or divine Laws that you have either dismissed or conveniently forgotten about. Both Tradition and divine law have been given to mankind by and preserved as a gift from the Holy Spirit. Dogma, doctrine, and definitions of the Christian faith all serve as guardrails to guide us home. This is why we are exhorted by God to be earnestly on guard and to never forget (or stop learning about!) the things the apostles witnessed and passed – i.e. Sacred Tradition.
We cannot allow Tradition to slip from memory. Stated another way, we can never stop learning the fullness of our faith. Our Lord would not have commanded this of us unless He knew we would be tempted to do just that. Remember, we are called to be with and stand for Christ at all cost even when we don’t particularly like or understand something that is expected of us. That’s what it means to be a Christian – we surrender our will for His!
Day 19 Lenten Meditation
For many, the Ten Commandments are a challenging lesson we learn as children. Trying to implement them as adults is equally as challenging if not more so. When it comes to the Commandments, we are often tempted to breeze past them or even forget about them altogether. But the Commandments are just as important today as they were in the days of the Israelites. In fact, Jesus told us that He came to fulfill and add to the Law … not to do away with it.
While the Ten Commandments point out literal laws, they hold also less literal applications. For example, we may not have literally killed anyone but have we raged with anger towards someone killing their peace or reputation? Have we stolen anyone’s joy by our words or refused to work a full work week? The point is, buried within each Commandment are valuable lessons that are applicable to our everyday lives. While pondering them, be reminded and comforted by the fact that the Commandments are given to you for your benefit; guardrails that enable you to walk upright with the Lord, grow in virtue, and become a saint.
Today, prayerfully read over the Ten Commandments. Find the ones that are most difficult for you and pray about them. Pray for the grace to make a full examination of conscience and then ask God for the strength to follow the Commandments more faithfully and reverently in your everyday life.
Additional Reading for this Week
God of all faithfulness, we don’t always live the Law that You have set down for us. Today we recommit ourselves to living our lives according to the template You have provided and to do Your will. Heavenly Father, let us also be reminded of how much You care for us. How You have so lovingly numbered every hair on our head. Let us never stray far from the conviction of Your Word and precepts as well as the overall sense of Your Fatherly embrace. Let us always remember what You have passed on to us. It is in Your good and holy Name we pray. Amen.
Today’s suggested Penance
Read through the Ten Commandments and complete a full examination of conscience. Ask God for forgiveness and go to confession if it has been awhile.
“The Christian is like the ripening corn; the riper he grows the more lowly he bends his head” – Thomas Guthrie.