Scripture for this day tells us much about the Commandments given to us by God that we might understand what it means to live together in harmony and love for one another. The people of the Old Testament were all about the Law. They understood that to honor God meant to honor the Law. In today’s Gospel from Matthew Jesus says to his disciples (and that includes us),
“Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish, but to fulfill.” Matthew 5.17 Jesus taught the greatest Commandment was to love God with your whole being and to love your neighbor as yourself. That is the central message of the New Testament. But that does not negate what the people of the Old Testament learned about following the Commandments. No doubt, the message of Jesus was less about the law, in the sense of following it to the letter at all costs, and more about an emphasis on love. We are not talking about a “warm and fuzzy” kind of love here. Jesus calls us to love God and one another by putting others before us, by becoming servants to one another, by offering our lives and our actions to ensure the happiness of others. This is how Jesus fulfilled the Law; he gave himself totally to us, he became the servant, not the one to be served, and he offered himself fully in sacrifice on the cross to ensure our salvation; our eternal life with God!
We have a choice to make in regard to the Commandments given to us by God. We can do our best to live by those Commandments or we can ignore them. To live by them is challenging and calls us to put others first; to honor God and his people. The beauty of the Commandments is that although they lay down the law for us and may at times seem to restrict us, they ultimately serve to bring us freedom and eternal happiness. The choice is ours. Let us pray together for the strength and wisdom to live as true disciples of Christ practicing the Commandments as an act of love.
Have a blessed week!
October 17, 2020
A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC