Daily Reflection – 3/15/2023
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)
Today’s readings strongly emphasize the importance of God’s laws. In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus makes it clear to his disciples that the law of the Old Testament still stands. Although people of Jesus’ time may have thought that Jesus came to replace the rules of the Old Testament, Jesus states that he did not come to erase God’s commandments or to open a “back door” into heaven for his followers. Rather, Jesus came to challenge us all not only to follow God’s commandments, but to lead others to follow them as well.
How do we do that? By living as Jesus Christ did. Jesus is the personification of love and the fulfillment of the law. Jesus is both the fullest expression of the love of God for us, and the fullest expression of the human response to that love. In Jesus, the medium is the message. The entire content of Christianity has been abstracted from the person and life of Jesus. The whole content of Christianity can be expressed in one word, Jesus. When you’ve said Jesus, you’ve said it all.
That is why the very goal of our lives is to strive to know Jesus more intimately, love him more ardently and follow him more closely. To be a Christian is to be committed to Jesus. And since Jesus is God, it means with the totality of the First Commandment. You shall love Jesus with your whole heart, your whole soul and your whole mind.”
A follower of Christ must learn to live a life grounded in mercy and love not in negative prohibitions but rather molding our lives, on the positive commandments of Jesus, the total love of God and neighbor which he showed forth in his life and death.
There will be “roadblocks” that seem to have the potential of taking us off the path of following Jesus. Just as there were roadblocks to the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. But Christ prevailed. Not solely because he was man made God but because he came to show us a way of life. A way of life, which through the centuries has brought many to step forward and give their lives because of Jesus Christ. The followers of Christ saw that we must personify His love. Our entire life is a journey to and for Him. If we focus on the destination, nothing can fully stop us.
We are given the chance to bring Him alive in our lives!
That is THE Way. The WAY of Christ is not a destination. It is a continually lived experience. It is a transformation of ourselves that literally brings His word alive.
You and I are called to do that. You and I are called to bring his commandments alive. By living our lives in full accord with His commands, we continue the procession of men and women who change the world through the goodness and love they bring.
What a beautiful gift our lives can be.
Prayer of The Day
“Jesus, Do not let me be content simply to do the minimum that my faith asks of me. Do not let me be content simply with avoiding grave sin. Help me to live the fullness of the law of love and charity. I want this Lent to be a time of growth in love.”
Let us each of us 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!