Do you ever wonder if it could be said of our nation, “This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people?” The scriptures today make it clear that it is by following the commandments of the Lord that a nation will be judged as wise and intelligent. Part of that is because great laws are common sense: they are part of the social contract by which we must live if our society is to continue. So we can’t condone murder, theft, or anarchy, or there won’t be a society to live in, much less a society to be judged as wise and intelligent.
But today’s scriptures seem to require more than just mere observance of the social contract. Following the Lord’s laws requires that we care for the most vulnerable among us, including the unborn, the poor, the marginalized, the stranger, the widowed, and all those who are forgotten. We must care for them, because God certainly cares for them, and he will judge us as a nation on how we have observed these commandments.
Even laws do not free the faithful from observance of the commandments. One cannot break a commandment to avoid breaking a law. And one clearly cannot teach others to break the commandments for any reason. The Divine Law is the foundation for all other law, and is the basis of our judgment. Today’s readings are clear: if we are to be judged wise and intelligent, if we are to inherit everlasting life, we must live the Lord’s commandments and teach others to do the same.