A reading from the gospel according to Matthew 5:17-19:
Jesus said to his disciples:
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
18 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.
19 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.”
6/8/2022 Gospel Reflection: Obedience
Everywhere there are thousands of laws and regulations to follow. Without these laws, there will be chaos and disorder. Yet even the Ten Commandments of the Old Testaments are hardly obeyed. Yes, only ten commandments but human beings are so stubborn or maybe forgetful as to break them most of the time.
People make laws with the best intentions of making society at large orderly and progressive and individual life easier and more comfortable. In the Old Testament, more than 600 precepts were adopted by religious authorities to be followed by all Jews so that they will be pure or holy in the eyes of God. The intention was good but these laws did not achieve its purpose and instead they became too burdensome especially for the poor sector of the Jewish society. Moreover, the very people who were supposed to be “models” of following these laws did so but in the most superficial manner with the unintended result of becoming hypocrites.
Jesus understands perfectly the purpose of these laws and He wanted them fulfilled. Yet He also sees the unintended effects or shall we say defects in their implementation. So He summarized the law and the prophets into two: love of God and love of self and neighbor. Briefly stated, love is the law. If there is love in our heart, we will obey the commandments and we would be called the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.