Journey through Lent 2019 at St. Anthony's
REFLECTIONS FROM THE PEWS
March 7, 2019

Both passages are a warning and a promise.

The passage in Deuteronomy states plainly the choice given between being good and having life by keeping God’s commandments, laws and decrees as set forth in the first 5 books of the Old Testament and the curse of death and destruction, if one turns one’s heart away from God and His way. Love God and His ways or love other gods. Other gods can be riches, work, family, sex, friendship or anything you place as center to your interests over your love of God.  Sin is simply wanting to be your own god, the center of your own interests, rather than obeying God’s rules and commands. The message in Deuteronomy is to the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and is chiefly about the inheritance and retention of the land God promised the Hebrews.

In the message in Luke, Jesus speaks to all people, not just Jews, and the message is not about the inheritance of land, but the inheritance of eternal life. Jesus changes the Old Testament message by making it about moral and ethical behavior and by expanding God’s message with compassion and inclusion. The background of the passage from Luke is Jesus has accepted that he is the Son of Man. The Son of Man is the man subject to death who is He who is vindicated by God to act with God’s authority in teaching and presenting God’s Kingdom to mankind. The passage also suggests that Jesus as the Son of Man will be our ultimate and eternal judge.

Jesus states it is necessary for Him to suffer death and ignominy and rise from the grave to attest to His authority and to save mankind from eternal death and destruction by being the one sufficient and necessary offering to God for man’s salvation. However, it is necessary for individuals to take up their own individual crosses of personal problems and tribulations and follow God’s law patiently in the course their lives take to be followers of Jesus. By doing this and living openly as a follower of Jesus, one has taken up one’s cross and lost one’s willful life and accepted the promise of salvation Jesus offers and thus has been saved for eternal life. 

Jon Grate
St. Anthony Parishioner