The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time
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.”
Reflection (Sem. Edgar Calma):
Laws are very important in any society to bring peace, order, harmony, stability and system. Even in our own homes, our parents would impose certain rules and guidelines to bring about common understanding, manage expectations and foster value-based behaviors within the family members. On the other hand, what we see in our environment follows also a certain natural order. Nature is the best example of a very structured and well organized system governed by natural laws. In fact, most of human laws, rules and norms were based from natural laws.
The Gospel for today, invites us to reflect on the significance of laws in our own lives and the society as a whole. As we listen to Jesus, he himself respected the law handed down to the Israelites by God through Moses and the Prophets. “Do not think that I have come to annul the law and the prophets. I have not come to annul them, but to fulfil them. I tell you this: as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in the law will change, until all is fulfilled.” He invited the Israelites to have a deeper understanding and interpretation of the laws, specifically the laws handed down to them. A deeper understanding of the laws would mean looking into the very essence and spirit of the laws that would lead them to unlock the reasons why such laws were given and how do they relate to Jesus who was the fulfilment of the law.
The Good news for us now is that Jesus Christ through his life and teachings gave a new meaning and spirit of the laws. He came to fulfil the law that brought about newness of life through his passion, death and resurrection. And through His great sacrifice the laws were fulfilled and transformed into the great love of God to his people.
We are all called to honor, obey and respect human, natural and divine laws. But more than honouring and obeying is the invitation to understand the deeper meaning to be able to transcend and find in our hearts that to honor and obey is to love God above all else. That the reason why we are obeying is not really out of fear and compliance but because of the overflowing love and gratitude for all the graces and blessings God has given us in this life. There should be a radical change in outlook in life pertaining to the laws that we observe and obey. Laws should not be viewed as something that curtail our freedom or limit our ability to grow in life. The initial effect in obeying the laws would be peace, harmony and stability in our relationship with other people, but if we cannot find love in the observance of these laws it may just be a skin deep commitment. For the true spirit of the law, emanates from Christ who fulfilled it because of His great love for humanity.