St. Demetrios & the children

Just Fill in the Blanks

It’s not very often that we reflect on the writings of the Old Testament. They seem….scary or long-winded or…well, just plain old. But there is some merit in the writings of the Old Testament. Take, for example, the following excerpt from the book of Leviticus, Chapter 19, Verses 11-18:

“You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning. You shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling block before the blind, but shall fear your God: I am the LORD. You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor. You shall not go about as a talebearer among your people; nor shall you take a stand against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD. You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD”.

Now, this may seem like a lot, but if you look at it again, life becomes pretty easy to live; all you have to do is fill in the blanks. While the constant negatives may seem a bit harsh, they are actual proof of God’s love for us. Just like a parent or a teacher, God must lay down rules for our benefit. The question is, are we living our life according to these statutes? If you look at these “rules” more closely, God’s message comes through a little softer. We must be honest in every aspect of our lives. We must respect the name of our God for He is the King of All and He gave His life for us. That deserves our respect! We must make sure that we live in harmony with those around us, that we live calm, Godly lives. We must reach out and help those who need our help, because everyone is a child of God. We must speak the truth in love, as we are directed by St. Paul. We must love our neighbor as ourselves. While there are seemingly a lot of rules, they are rules to help us live lives worthy of Jesus Christ, and that will help us attain everlasting salvation.  I invite you to read this passage again.  I ask you to look at these statutes not as rules, not as restrictions, but rather as an invitation and an opportunity to live a life worthy of Jesus Christ.
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The Direct Archdiocesan District, housed at the Archdiocese in New York City, encompasses parishes in most of New York State, the western half of Connecticut, Washington, D.C. and the Bahamas. The Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries is led by its director, Fr. Evagoras Constantinides, and is under the pastoral care of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios.