The WORD in Other Words by Fr Jun de Ocampo SVD (Germany)
Wednesday 3rd Week of Lent
Could one say that not poisoning one’s spouse is a proof of love for that spouse? Or could you say that because you did not steal from anyone you are obeying the commandment “Thou shalt not steal”? Obviously no one can agree to these. God’s commandments are far greater than just about what we should not do. They also refer to what we should do but we do not do.
As a Jew himself our Lord Jesus knew the 10 Commandments by heart like any faithful Jew did. We saw that when he talked with the teacher of the Law about the Law of Moses. Asked what is the greatest commandment was, he simply summarized the 10 commandments into two imperatives: (a) Love God with all your heart. (b) Love your neighbor as yourself. And it was Jesus himself who fulfilled these in his own life – especially when he offered his life unto death for our salvation.
We have now reached the third week of Lent in the Church Liturgy when we are to prepare ourselves for the celebration of God’s greatest act of love for us. The Church encourages us strongly to approach the Sacraments of God’s Love, most especially the Sacrament of Reconciliation, popularly known as Confession.
When was the last time you went to Confession? The Church obliges us to go to Confession, at least once a year. Why? This Sacrament is one moment in a believer’s life of response with repentance to God’s love. Repentance, because in our frail humanity we have not measured up to God’s Love.
Our ultimate goal is to be like Jesus who perfected the fulfillment of the law. The Sacrament of Reconciliation is our greatest means to approximate Jesus in our own life.
– Fr. Jun de Ocampo, SVD (Chaplain, Philippine Community Berlin, Germany)