Daily Office Readings for Thursday of the 2nd Week of Lent: Year 1
Morning Psalm 71; Evening Psalm 74;
Jeremiah 4:9 to 10 and 19 to 28; Romans 2:12 to 24; John 5:19 to 29
“When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves. They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.” (Romans 2:14 to 16)
This just goes to show that all humanity, Jew or Gentile (the Non-Jew Nations), all have a sense of what is right and what is wrong. And according to later writings in Jeremiah which says, “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more.” (Jeremiah 31:33 and 34)
God, in Christ Jesus, has written this on the human heart, whether we know it or not. I think we do know it however. We don’t need a list of written laws for right and wrong to obey, or enforce. We already have an innate sense of the right thing to do or say. It has been given to us by God. It is called our conscience. We all have it or we perhaps suffer from some kind of anti-social psychosis which may have been known as demonic possession in the day of Jesus.
We truly should let our conscience be our guide. I think too that we all have secret thoughts. These secret thoughts will be judged by our Lord Jesus at our judgment day. Personally, I think we will be judged on whether or not we carried out our dark thoughts, or subdued them as demons trying to possess us. It is possible to subdue our passions but it might take being a part of a society greater than one’s self: a church family or a benevolent fraternity or sorority bent on doing good; perhaps a combination of both church and fraternity or sorority or other benevolent associations.
But as our reading from Romans points out, all of us have some God-given sense of what is good and right so to do. Let us remember the caution from St Paul, “Conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse [us] on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.”
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John