We can all agree that God calls us to embrace a loving relationship with him. But is that the end of the story of faith? Is love really all we need? Given that we are human, we need more than just a command to love God and one another. We need structure, a foundation that helps us to navigate the difficult choices that all of us face on a daily basis. In today’s scripture passage from Deuteronomy, Moses instructs the Israelites to abide by the precepts of God’s law.
Moses spoke to the people and said:
“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.
Therefore, I teach you the statutes and decrees
as the LORD, my God, has commanded me,
that you may observe them in the land you are entering to occupy.
Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence
of your wisdom and intelligence to the nations,
who will hear of all these statutes and say,
‘This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.’
For what great nation is there
that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him?
Or what great nation has statutes and decrees
that are as just as this whole law
which I am setting before you today?
In our times, too, we need to live by the precepts of God’s law, such as the commandments and the teaching of our holy Church. We need more than just our own experience of love. Following these guideposts provides us with the reassurance that we are walking in the ways of the Lord.