March 23rd, 2022

The Gospel according to Matthew 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until Heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Refection: Today Jesus shows, not only to those of this time period, but also to the many generations to follow, as he teaches all with his divine power and authority. He was imploring them to live good value as well as moral worth, not complete legalism. On the surface this appears that he had come to abolish the laws of their elders. He was replacing their archaic ritual practice of animal sacrifice offered in the Temple with the celebration of the Eucharist. Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but was the fulfillment of it.

When we, as a whole, become a more selfless society and putting more faith in our Creator, we can start to see what Jesus was doing in his ministry. 

Raymond Brown, who I have quoted before makes this statement,

“Jesus presents God’s demand not by dispensing with the Law but by asking for a deeper observance that gets to the reason why it’s demands were formulated, i.e., be “perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”. 

He makes the demand of the Law more penetrating (e.g. by prohibiting not only killing but anger, not only adultery but lust). And he turns from the Law to it’s opposite (not retaliation but generosity to offenders; not hating enemies but loving them).”

How hard should this be? When will we learn as a society to simply love, honor and respect each other? It starts with me, and it continues with you. Start within your own family, at work, in the parking lot when you leave Mass this Sunday. Start with yourself!!

Action for the Day: Try this simple act. As you are driving to and from work, imagine Jesus sitting in the back seat of your car and see if you can “be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”

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