Reading and Reflection For Wednesday 22nd March (Whoever relaxes one of the commandments)

First Reading: From the Book of Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9

1 ‘And now, Israel, listen to the laws and customs which I am teaching you today, so that, by observing them, you may survive to enter and take possession of the country which Yahweh, God of your ancestors, is giving you.

5 Look: as Yahweh my God commanded me, I have taught you laws and customs, for you to observe in the country of which you are going to take possession.

6 Keep them, put them into practice, and other peoples will admire your wisdom and prudence. Once they know what all these laws are, they will exclaim, “No other people is as wise and prudent as this great nation!”

7 And indeed, what great nation has its gods as near as Yahweh our God is to us whenever we call to him?

8 And what great nation has laws and customs as upright as the entirety of this Law which I am laying down for you today?

9 ‘But take care, as you value your lives! Do not forget the things which you yourselves have seen, or let them slip from your heart as long as you live; teach them, rather, to your children and to your children’s children.


Responsorial Psalm: From Psalms 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20

12 Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem, Zion, praise your God.

13 For he gives strength to the bars of your gates, he blesses your children within you,

15 He sends his word to the earth, his command runs quickly,

16 he spreads the snow like flax, strews hoarfrost like ashes,

15 He sends his word to the earth, his command runs quickly,

16 he spreads the snow like flax, strews hoarfrost like ashes,

19 He reveals his word to Jacob, his statutes and judgements to Israel.

20 For no other nation has he done this, no other has known his judgements.


 

 

Gospel Reading: From the Gospel Account of Saint Matthew 5:17-19

17 ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them.

18 In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved.

19 Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven.


Reflection

Theme: Whoever relaxes one of the commandments

Do you view God’s law negatively or positively? Jesus’ attitude towards the law of God can be summed up in the great prayer of Psalm 119: “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” For the people of Israel the “law” could refer to the ten commandments or to the five Books of Moses, called the Pentateuch, which explain the commandments and ordinances of God for his people. The “law” also referred to the whole teaching or way of life which God gave to his people. The Jews in Jesus’ time also used it as a description of the oral or scribal law. Needless to say, the scribes added many more things to the law than God intended. That is why Jesus often condemned the scribal law. It placed burdens on people which God had not intended. Jesus, however, made it very clear that the essence of God’s law – his commandments and way of life, must be fulfilled.

Jesus taught reverence for God’s law – reverence for God himself, for the Lord’s Day, reverence or respect for parents, respect for life, for property, for another person’s good name, respect for oneself and for one’s neighbor lest wrong or hurtful desires master us. Reverence and respect for God’s commandments teach us the way of love – love of God and love of neighbor.

The transforming work of the Holy Spirit
What is impossible to men and women is possible to God and those who put their faith and trust in God. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit the Lord transforms us and makes us like himself. We are a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17) because “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). God gives us the grace to love as he loves, to forgive as he forgives, to think as he thinks, and to act as he acts.

The Lord loves justice and goodness and he hates every form of wickedness and sin. He wants to set us free from our unruly desires and sinful habits, so that we can choose to live each day in the peace, joy, and righteousness of his Holy Spirit (Romans 14: 17). To renounce sin is to turn away from what is harmful and destructive for our minds and hearts, and our very lives. As his followers we must love and respect his commandments and hate every form of sin. Do you love and revere the commands of the Lord?

“Lord Jesus, grant this day, to direct and sanctify, to rule and govern our hearts and bodies, so that all our thoughts, words and deeds may be according to your Father’s law and thus may we be saved and protected through your mighty help.”

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*