The First Commandment: How do I worship my God?

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever! We continue our short meditations on the Ten Commandments of our Lord. But first, let me remind you of what I wrote in my previous articles. I started with the First Commandment: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall not have other gods beside me. You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before
them or serve them” (Exodus 20, 2-5).
The First Commandment consists of three parts: Theological (Who is my God?), Pastoral (How do I believe in my God?), and Liturgical (How do I worship my God?).
I already have explained the first two parts. Therefore, I will concentrate — and meditate — on the commandment’s third and final part: Liturgical (How do I worship my God?).
The third part reads: You shall not bow down before them or serve them. Here we note some significant nonactions: “not bow down” and “not serve” other gods. To better understand these terms, let us examine their definitions.
The first is a phrasal verb “bow down,” which means to show respect to someone, to show that someone is very important, to become prostrate before someone or something. The second verb “serve” means to perform duties or services for someone.
Our Lord strictly prohibits us to bow down before or to serve other gods. We cannot serve an “idol or god” and our Creator at any time, in any way. In the Gospel of St. Matthew Jesus relates, “No one can serve two masters. He will either hate one and love the other or be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Mt. 6, 24).
Our worship of the Lord and our service to Him expresses our love for Him. The verbs “bow down” and “serve” have a very deep spiritual meaning. To “bow down” or to “prostrate” oneself is an act of adoration — in this case, adoration of our merciful Lord. To “serve” specifically corresponds to liturgical service and stems from faith.
Priestly or diaconal ordination is a wonderful example of these verbs’ spiritual definitions. Every priest remembers an inspiring moment during his ordination, especially the moment when he prostrates himself in front of the altar and God. Here he demonstrates his love for God and visibly and physically declares he will serve only God, the basis of the priest’s life and vocation.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this prostration before God illustrates how we should prostrate our hearts, minds and souls in front of the Lord. We must recognize and declare that God is our Heavenly Father who we must serve every day, Let us imitate Him in mercy, love and forgiveness and proclaim His glory in our lives. But how can we do that? How can we begin to worship God in our daily lives?
To worship the Lord daily and devoutly, you must have a strong relationship with Him. You may ask, “How can I worship or imitate or proclaim my Lord if I do not know Him?” The answer: your relationship with God, as in
every relationship, begins with dialog. If you want a strong relationship with God, you must talk to Him. And that
dialog begins with prayer and reading of the Holy Scriptures.
I highly recommend you spend time with God every day. Begin your day with God in thanksgiving for a restful
night and granting you another day on this earth. When you have a break at work, pray the rosary to the Blessed Mother for special intentions (family, friends, health, etc.) And in the evening, thank the Lord for the blessings of the day and the strength to have endured it. And as your prayers and readings increase, I am sure you will find other things for which you can pray.
Talking to God is not a difficult task. By talking to Him, you will build a personal and strong relationship with
your Heavenly Father. You will learn about Him, His commandments, His will and His incessant love for you. By ignoring the Lord, however, you will not follow Him and not learn about His commandments and the great love He offers. More so, you will not become familiar with His will but rather bow to your own will, which very often
leads to sin.
Secondly, I recommend you read the Bible daily. Pope Francis said, “The Bible is not meant to be placed on a shelf, but to be in your hands, to read often –— every day, both on your own and together with others.”
During the day we receive heaps of different information. We hear hundreds of voices and hundreds of opinions. And
in this stream of information, thoughts and ideas we must learn to recognize and listen to the “Voice of Truth” we
can discover in the Bible. By reading the Holy Scriptures, we can discover the truth about our Merciful Lord — and
about ourselves!
By daily reading the Bible –— and absorbing its lessons –— we permit the Word of God to enter our hearts and live within us. Thus we live and remain in the Truth, and the Truth sets us free! The Living Word of the Bible has the power to transform our lives, our hearts and our families! Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, please read the Holy Scriptures every day. Please let God talk to you and allow the Living Word of God to enter your hearts and
transfigure you.
Daily prayer and Bible readings are the start of our worship of God, the first steps in our spiritual life.
Obviously, worshiping God is polyhedral. Yet daily prayer and Bible readings will form the foundation of your lives. Daily prayer and reading the Holy Scriptures will become your sources for love, mercy and peace in your hearts.
In doing so, you will come to appreciate and cherish God and His love for you. You willingly and joyfully will go to church, attend the Divine Services, go to confession and worthily receive the Holy Eucharist with a pure and contrite heart. Thus you will remember the will of God and will be able to love, serve and forgive your neighbor! And because of that love among us, people everywhere will identify us as disciples of our Heavenly