The Basic Meaning of Covenant
“you, who clung to the Lord, your God, are all alive today”
Today’s readings: Dt 4:1-9; Ps 147:12-20; Mt 5:17-19
The reading today speaks about the importance of covenant. “Now, Israel, hear the statutes and decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may enter in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, is giving you.” (Dt 4:1). Covenant involves our living out God’s decrees. If we do, we will be blessed. If we do not, we will suffer the consequences.
This verse speaks about the two basic aspects of covenant. One, we will live, that is, we experience the very salvation of God. Two, we will possess the land, that is, we will be empowered to serve in the way that God intends to use us as His instruments. These are about the internal and external aspects of our relationship with God. We are given life, and life to the full. We grow in holiness and are restored in the very image and likeness of God. Then we are used by God to serve, according to His purposes in the world. We become instruments for the renewal of the face of the earth.
Covenant is God’s gift to us. It is how we become His people and His disciples. We just need to realize how important covenant is, and respond in obedience. That is how we take our proper place in the kingdom of God, here and hereafter. “Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:19). Our place in God’s kingdom will be defined by our faithfulness to our covenant.
Reflection/action: Think about the bountiful blessings of God upon you and your service over the past years. Resolve to tell and retell the story of God’s care and faithfulness, especially to the next generations. “However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to your children’s children.” (Dt 4:9).
Prayer: What a great and loving God you are, O Lord. Your blessings through the years have been tremendous, and I am overwhelmed by your love and care. Grant me the grace never to forget your goodness, especially in times of trial and pain. And let me boldly proclaim to everyone the wonders of your name. Amen.
God bless you.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil 1:21)