Daily Reflection – 3/10/2021
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.” (Matthew 5:17-19)
In today’s Gospel Jesus reminds us that His purpose was not to abolish the law but to fulfill it.
What does that mean? What does that mean for us?
We can speak of fulfilling the law in two ways: by doing everything that is asked or by completing that which is missing.
Jesus contrasted himself to what Moses taught not by contradicting it but by taking it deeper.
Whereas Moses taught the limitation of violence, “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” Jesus brought it to fulfillment when he called us to love our enemies, Whereas Moses taught us not to commit adultery in the flesh, Jesus fulfilled it by teaching us not to commit adultery in the heart either. Whereas Moses taught us not to kill, Jesus fulfilled it by teaching us not to hate, not to insult, not to murder people in our thoughts and words.
Jesus adds one more critical element. He completes the law of the Old Testament with the new law of love, to love one another as he has loved us. All of the precepts have their end: in loving God above all things.
The totality of the law of love can only be fulfilled when each of us steps forward to embrace it and actualize it in our lives. In effect, you and I are the missing pieces to its fulfillment on earth.
There is no created being in the universe that is outside the law of love that Jesus came to teach us. There is no being, not even the smallest, that escapes the demand of this law.
Yet, we fail time and again. Perhaps we have not truly actualized in our lives the implications of that law. Perhaps we have not truly understood the implications of that law. His words are clear enough:
“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.”
The greatest in the kingdom loves and teaches others to love. The least is the one who rejects His law and fails to love. Which piece are you?
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus Christ, give us the passion to obey Your commandments and teach them to others. Help us to continually become the salt and the Light of the World so that our actions and deeds may become good examples that glorify the Name of our Lord.”
Jesus taught reverence for God’s law – reverence for God himself, for the Lord’s Day, reverence or respect for parents, respect for life, for property, for another person’s good name, respect for oneself and for one’s neighbor lest wrong or hurtful desires master us. Reverence and respect for God’s commandments teach us the way of love – love of God and love of neighbor.