Do’s and Don’t’s
By Lisa Janusa
Recently, I heard a priest speak at a children’s school Mass about “Do’s and Don’ts” in regard to our negative and positive obligations.
God gave Moses and the chosen people 10 Commandments to serve as guideposts for their living holy lives. The people were taught that belonging to God in a covenant relationship meant that they would have to “Do” some things and “Don’t do” other things. Example: Do love God with your whole mind and heart and don’t lie cheat and steal against your neighbor. If they would follow these commands, then they would be blessed and protected under God’s loving care. If they disobeyed, then they could risk loss of God and alienation from all that is right and good.
Many generations that followed learned the hard way what happens when you turn away from God. Unfortunately, history has repeated itself. Each time, though, God looks with love upon them and hopes that they will return. When Jesus comes, he refines the 10 Commandments with the Beatitudes and challenges us to become more proactive.
• Instead of telling us to not hurt our neighbor, he asks us to seek out our neighbor and console, feed and clothe our neighbor.
• Instead of asking us to not worship false idols, he asks us to see him in each other. “Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, that you do unto me.”
• Instead of asking us not to be prideful and self-seeking, he asks us to be like him as a humble servant and wash each other’s feet with our tears of repentance.
• Instead of stirring up division and revenge in our hearts, we can be the person who brings people together and shares God’s healing gift of peace.
• Instead of bringing others down by corrupting them and leading them into sin, we can exhort them about the joys of being a child of grace and lead others by good example to heaven.
The choices are our Do’s and Don’ts. Don’t live the minimum “Don’ts,” live the maximum “Do’s”.