Sister Francene Evans
Fifth Sunday of Lent
My Law in Your Heart
“I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel …. I will put my law within them, I will write it upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer 31:31-33)
As I write this reflection it is almost Valentine’s Day and images of hearts flood newspapers and TV ads. During Lent we are asked to “rend your hearts, not your garments.” We often talk about the “heart of the matter,” and say “something really touched my heart.” The heart often represents the core, essence, the most vital part, even the soul of something. At the very center of our being, God has inscribed God’s law. Amazing; wonderful actually!
The word “law,” can seem distant, cold, demanding; to be about regulations and penalties. But the law written on our hearts is the great law—love of God with all our being and love of neighbor as our selves. Remember seeing the bumper sticker “practice random acts of kindness?” And seeing a tiny baby, a toddler taking first steps, someone coping bravely with a disability, your grandparents on Thanksgiving Day or children coming down the stairs early Christmas morning? Something indeed is written upon our hearts that calls us to care, to be compassionate, to stand with another, to love, to act as God’s people.
One semester I lived in Japan teaching classes in English to Japanese students who wanted to complete their college degrees in the US. Knowing only a few essential phrases in Japanese, my anxiety was raised whenever I ventured downtown, tried to buy groceries, and especially when I took a three-hour train trip by myself. Yet wherever I went strangers did their best to help me.
For some, a visit to a hospital, a doctor’s office or to the business office to learn about bills and insurance can be like visiting a foreign land. Working in health care allows daily opportunities to notice, to listen, to care and to assist others. From the positive remarks I hear from patients and their families about our health care facilities, that great law of God must truly be written on the hearts of those who work there.
Holy One, we give you thanks
For the law of love written in our hearts,
And for the many opportunities we have each day
To be of service to others.
Bless our efforts to be your faithful servants.
We ask this is Jesus’s name. Amen.