Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Wednesday 3rd week of Lent
March 22, 2006
Wednesday 3rd week of Lent - Yr II
DEUTERONOMY 4:1, 5-9
Moses spoke to the people and said: "Now, Israel, hear the statutes and
decrees which I am teaching you to observe, that you may live, and may
enter in and take possession of the land which the LORD, the God of
your fathers, is giving you. Therefore, I teach you the statutes and
decrees as the LORD, my God, has commanded me, that you may observe
them in the land you are entering to occupy. Observe them carefully,
for thus will you give evidence of your wisdom and intelligence to the
nations, who will hear of all these statutes and say, 'This great
nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.' For what great nation
is there that has gods so close to it as the LORD, our God, is to us
whenever we call upon him? Or what great nation has statutes and
decrees that are as just as this whole law which I am setting before
you today? "However, take care and be earnestly on your guard not to
forget the things which your own eyes have seen, nor let them slip from
your memory as long as you live, but teach them to your children and to
your children's children."
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."
It's clear in the first reading that Moses wanted the people to honor
and revere the Law. God himself, Moses insists, is the source of the
statutes and decrees he is about to give them. Observance of these
statutes and decrees will assure them that they will take possession of
the land God had promised them. Continued observance thereafter will
also manifest to the nations surrounding Israel how wise and
intelligent a people they are. The nations will recognize that the God
of Israel is much closer to his people than the gods of other nations.
God's people must revere and honor the Law God has given them and must
hold it in great esteem.
Jesus had a similar attitude towards the Law. In the Sermon on the
Mount he manifests the same respect for the Law as did Moses. He denies
that he has any intention of abolishing the Law or any small part of
it. The statutes and decrees of the Law as they existed in Jesus' day
would be brought to fulfillment, that is, he would bring out their full
Jesus' assertion that he respected the Law, however, may sound somewhat
hollow to anyone who is reading the Gospels. The scribes and the
Pharisees constantly faulted him for violating the Law. Jesus never
denied these accusations. Jesus openly and purposely violated laws, and
openly defended his behavior.
Jesus violated laws because he respected the spirit behind the Law:
love and reverence for God and love and respect for the human person.
On those occasions when he recognized that the letter of the law would
violate the law's spirit - the law of love. Jesus followed the law of
love. This should not be surprising. God, after all, is love.
We pray -
- for a deep and profound respect for life, especially for the unborn.
- for the healing and speedy recovery of Mr. Leoncio Chua.
- for the personal intentions of Mike Torres.
- for the restoration of love and understanding of Charles & Cheryl C.
- Thanksgiving prayers for Rikit Navarro
- for all the prayer intentions in the MTQ Dailyprayer Diary.
- In Memoriam (+): Felicisima P. Jabel
- Wedding Anniversary: Simon & Janice Bolima
- for world peace and reconciliation.
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our
prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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