REFLECTION | ‘I have come to fulfill the law’

Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

Reflection file photo by Bernard Testa, InterAksyon.

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 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. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer you gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’ But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ’Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.”
—Matthew 5:17-37

Laws are guides. They guide us to know what is right from wrong. to do what is best and not the worst.

Jesus came to fulfill the law and what the prophets had preached.  The greatest in the kingdom is the one who follows the commandments set by the Lord. The gospel further reminded us of our relationships with one another as brothers and sisters; he likewise mentioned about the offenses that are liable to judgments. Sinful acts, actuations and thoughts, thus, the need for the forgiveness of sins.  Sins, by commission or by omission, make us sinners.

The gospel enumerated the sins that were rampant during Jesus’ time; killing of people, getting angry for committing adultery and  swearing falsely.  And these are still happening today, in this very time.  In recent times, the daily cases of killings has increased tremendously and surprisingly most of the people remain careless and indifferent. What is happening to our country today?  What is happening to our humanity, to our faith?

The Lord reminds us that we should observe the commandments heartily and value life.  Life is a precious gift from God that has to be respected and defended as this is from God.  The sanctity of life above all should be protected by all. Anger begets hatred among one another. Adultery and marital infidelity in whatever form would always be wrong.  One should only have one wife and husband and no other at a time, says the Lord.

Jesus’ teachings speak of moral guidelines and spiritual tasks for us today. In our society and community, in our family and in our personal life, Jesus’ words are to be observed, followed, and lived by for these are genuine and true.  Let us turn away from our wicked ways of killing people, from adulterous relationships, and false oaths that destroy people and ourselves.

Let us amend our mistakes and sinful ways; receive the grace from God to change our lives. Let us  pray, reflect, and ask ourselves:

Do I ask for God’s pardon for the sins, mistakes, misgivings, shortcomings, and faults that I had done?

Do I take seriously my act of contrition and promise to amend my old self?

Do I obey God’s commandments by heart?

Do I share my Christian witnessing with others?

Prayer: Almighty and Loving God, open or hearts to receive your grace and embrace all your teachings and the will to keep them.  May your Word remind us of our Christian tasks, duties and responsibilities so we may lead others toward you. May we follow your will and precepts truthfully and faithfully so we can build a world of justice, peace and harmony.  This we ask through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Intention: Let us pray for all those whom we promised to pray for; for the Christians all over the world who are in the mission territories, may they become truly channels of God’s love, mercy and peace.  Let us also remember those who are sick, the lost and the suffering, may the Spirit strengthen them always and guide them in their works.