When Faith Is Recognized
Daily Reflection – 6/12/19
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. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:17-19)
So Jesus says that the Law is still to be observed. He is not saying that every single injunction of the Law (some of which seem very strange to us) has to be literally observed but rather that the spirit behind those injunctions is still in force. His words are meant to console but they are also a challenge. The New Law does not mean simply the addition of new elements. There is now a ‘paradigm shift’ to a Way which goes beyond laws to the Law of Love.
To truly grow in faith, we need to be ready to move forward creatively to new ways of understanding our faith and living it out. The traditions of the past are still valid but we must never get bogged down in them to the extent that we do not respond to the clear signs of the times. Tradition can be understood in two ways: either as a fundamental belief that has existed from the very beginning or simply a way of doing or understanding things which has been around for a long time.
When should we and our Church stop changing? we hear some people ask. The answer is, Hopefully never. The day we close ourselves to change is the day we die, as Paul warns us in the Second Letter to the Corinthians. To quote Cardinal Newman: To live is to change; to be perfect is to have changed often. He knew about change. He made radical changes in his own understanding of the Christian faith, changes which he saw as unavoidable although they involved great sacrifices on his part.
If we want to truly lead others towards Jesus by following God’s commandments, we cannot simply follow the rules, because people will recognize that we are not being sincere. Instead, we must enter into God’s commandments so that faith is not only going through the actions, but an easily recognized part of our lives
Prayer of The Day
Son of God, you died for me on the cross to pay for my sins and manifest your unconditional love for me. Thank you for showing me the way home to the Father. Holy Spirit, you heal me and strengthen me and set me on fire from the most intimate depths of my soul. Thank you for your loving presence within me. Jesus, help me to live authentic freedom in union with your will.
Let us each take a few moments to think about ways that we can enter more fully into God’s kingdom. Are we following God’s commandments because we have to? Or have we allowed God’s commandments to enter into our lives? God wants us all to obey his commandments and lead others to follow him; he wants us to be called greatest in his Kingdom!
- Posted in: Reflections