The Lord Our God
(3rd Sunday of Lent: Exodus 20:1-17; 1 Corinthians 1:22-25; John 2:13-25)
Do you remember what God said when Moses asked him his name? The Lord answered categorically, “I am who am,” and told Moses to tell the people, “I AM sent me to you.”
Today we read, “I, the Lord, am your God… I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God.” It might surprise you to know that in the original Hebrew, the verb am does not appear here. But our grammar requires it, so the translator inserts it.
Theoretically, in the absence of the verb, someone could translate the text as was, or will be, or many other variations. The important thing is to recognize the Lord as the one who is, who was, who will be, might be, could be, etc.—that he IS, in the most absolute sense, our God.
The Lord is God in himself, but also and, from our perspective, more importantly, he is God for us. “I, the Lord, am YOUR God.” Our faith is routed solidly in this first commandment. We may serve no other gods, we may worship no idols. This is the foundation of all the Commandments.
Our Lady of La Salette spoke explicitly of the Second and Third Commandments. It is obvious, however, that a people that violates these has rejected the First. Other idols had replaced the Lord their God.
In that light, Lent is the perfect time to reflect on the state of our relationship with our God. How faithful have we been? To what extent have we created other idols and bowed down to them?
Do we share the enthusiasm of today’s Psalm for the Lord’s law, decree, precepts, command, and ordinances? Are these more precious to us than gold, sweeter than honey? Or are they, rather, stumbling blocks and foolishness, as hard for us to accept as the notion of a crucified Messiah was in Paul’s day?
The psalmist loved the law, not as a lawyer, but because it was the law OF THE LORD, whom he loved with all his heart. Likewise, the Beautiful Lady reminds us of the commandments because of her love for us and her Son.
She shows us that If we desire a loving relationship with God, and when we bow (submit) to him alone, then the rest will follow.
Wayne Vanasse, and Fr. René Butler, M.S.