How shall a young man be faultless in his way?
By keeping to your words.
With all my heart I seek you;
let me not stray from your commands.
Within my heart I treasure your promise,
that I may not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes.
With my lips I declare
all the ordinances of your mouth.
In the way of your decrees I rejoice,
as much as in all riches. (Ps 119:9-14)
Statutes and ordinances: these words sound so very “legal” and, because of that, do not have any great appeal. As a matter of fact, we often shy away from if not abhor statutes and ordinances because they tell us to do things that we do not want to do.
However, without rules, our lives would be chaos.
It is important to know what is right or wrong, what is good or bad, so that we can be protected and safe. If we break a rule, it can lead to harm. Intentionally running a stoplight, for example, can involve us in an accident. We can harm or kill someone or ourselves. We need to obey the rules of the road.
In our spiritual lives, too, we need to obey the rules of the Lord. If we break a command, we can bring harm to others as well as to ourselves. The most in jeopardy, of course, is our immortal soul.
That was why the psalmist wrote what he did above. It is an earnest plea to God to place His law in our hearts, in our minds, and on our lips so that we might keep on the road to salvation.
This morning, our third graders from the school as well as our religious education program will make their First Confession. This is an opportunity for them to realize that there is hope for when they break God’s commands. They can — and should — come to the sacrament often throughout their lives so that they have the grace that they need to keep on the straight and narrow road that leads to eternity.
Thank God for the gift of His Son. And thank Jesus for the gift of this wonderful Sacrament of Healing. We pray that the Lord teach us His statutes and pray as well for the grace to come to Him when we have broken His statutes so that our souls may know His healing and forgiving love.
FAITH ACTION: Pray for all those who recently have made or are making their First Confessions that their experiences be good ones so that they may come back to the sacrament often.