02 March 2016
Wednesday, 3rd Week of Lent
Dt 4:1, 5 – 9 / Mt 5:17 – 19
From the 1st reading: Dt 4:1, 6 – 7
And now, Israel, listen to the norms and laws which I teach that you may put them into practice. And you will live and enter and take possession of the land which Yahweh, the God of your fathers, gives you.
If you observe and practice them, other people will regard you as wise and intelligent. When they come to know of all these laws, they will say, "There is no people as wise and as intelligent as this great nation." For in truth, is there a nation as great as ours, whose gods are as near to it as Yahweh, our God, is to us whenever we call upon him?
Gospel Reading: Mt 5:17 – 19
Jesus said, "Do not think that I have come to remove the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to remove but to fulfill them. I tell you this: as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or stroke of the Law will change until all is fulfilled.
"So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them and teaches others to do the same will be great in the kingdom of heaven."
A disruptor – this was how Jesus' enemies viewed Him, and it was precisely why they feared him. But Jesus claimed otherwise, saying that He came not to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. And He called on the people to do the same.
Today, we live in a world of convenient relativity and loose interpretation. There are many ways around rules, and people have grown lax, even in their faith. It's easy to understand why. We are a generation so fixated on freedom and so exposed to information and "noise" of all kinds. Permissiveness becomes a way of life.
But Jesus does not condone that kind of approach. He vehemently says that He stands for His Father's law, and that the law is unchanging. But the law for Him was not a restriction, but an invitation to freedom – from sin, and all the pain that comes with it.
He poses us the same challenge today: to stand on the side of God's law, despite every temptation to break it. Coldplay puts it eloquently in the song Clocks: "Am I part of the cure? Or am I part of the disease?" Do we live lives of permissiveness, and influence others to do the same? Or do we stand for God's law, and bring others with us to true freedom?
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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