Mass Readings: Leviticus 19:1-2,11-18/ Matthew 25:31-46

Commandments and Suggestions

Today’s first reading — a long list of God’s “you shall nots” — had me thinking about folks who point out, “It’s the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions.” I never liked that comment because it seems to imply a stern and wrathful Creator just waiting to pounce on anyone who crosses Him.

An all-loving God doesn’t seem like the kind of Supreme Being who’s going to fall on me like a ton of bricks if I break a commandment. Or suggestion. He seems like a Heavenly Father who’s telling me “this is the best way for you to live.” And “this is how I created you to live.” If I don’t listen, the natural — and supernatural — consequences are my doing, not His. He never turns His back on me, not even when I give Him the cold shoulder.

Prayer: Dear God, help me use my free will wisely.