Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time, June 12
As We Embrace and Profess This Faith Which Fills Our Hearts, Let Us Pray That We May Always Place Our Lord at the Very Center of Our Daily Lives, Focusing Ourselves on What It Truly Means to Be a Follower of Jesus Christ.
As we begin today the Scripture Readings for Ordinary Time in the liturgical year of the Church, we hear our Lord speaking in today’s Gospel, “I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
I am sure that, for most of us, we remember rules of the house which our parents taught us when we were young. As we began to grow, if we became involved in some form of a sporting event, be it soccer, baseball, softball, football or whatever sport we personally chose, we learned that there were rules by which we were to play the game.
And when each player on the team followed the rules, the game became an enjoyable and memorable event.
During the days of Moses, in order for the Jewish people to better understand their relationship with their Creator, God created a covenant in which rules, or what is oftentimes referred to as the Mosaic Law, were created to help guide God’s children into a closer relationship with the God who was calling them to be a holier nation; He was calling them to be a holy people.
God’s Law provided structure. It provided a means by which His children were guided, and the Law taught them how to live their lives for the benefit of each other and the benefit of the community as a whole. But the frailty of human nature is such that there were many times across the course of Jewish history that His chosen people would turn their backs on the God who provided for their every need.
The seductions of other cultures, which believed in other gods, and the hedonistic pleasures which they embraced, would seduce His children into setting aside all that their ancestors were taught and took to heart. And God would have His prophets remind them, time and again, to turn back to the God of their fathers.
God’s gift to His children was His Loving and Fatherly concern, not wanting His children to lose themselves, always guiding them into an intimate and holy relationship with Himself. Yet, through obstinance, hard-heartedness and selfish desires, they would continue to stumble and lose their way.
As a consequence, we find throughout the course of Old Testament history God promising that He would send a Savior, One who would teach them His Truth, One who would repair the broken relationship which existed between God and man – a fractured relationship which fallen man constantly provoked through his continuing defiance – all resulting from that first disobedience so long ago due to the fall of our first parents!
And Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
Jesus is the ultimate Gift of the Father to His children! He is the One who gives true meaning to the Law, for God’s laws are truly all about Love – Divine Love – and the gift of eternal life which is offered to each one of us.
In our First Reading, Paul is writing to the Church in Corinth that the Mosaic Law was given by God through Moses, and that their understanding of God was incomplete. However, through Jesus Christ, the Spirit of Truth now speaks to us of the fullness of God’s Loving Presence who gives life to His children.
Paul writes, “…our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.”
Both Jesus and Paul, who were products of a Jewish background, showed great respect and reverence for their Jewish heritage. And we should do no less, for Judaism is truly the parent of Christianity!
For it is in Christ Jesus that the fulfillment of all the ancient Jewish prophesies took place. It is no wonder that Jesus Himself said, “I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
When we open our hearts to God’s Laws, we allow ourselves to be guided by the Spirit of God’s Love. When we open our hearts to all that God has taught us, only then do we find true meaning to our life here on this side of the eternal – and to the importance of the cross which each one of us must bear from time to time.
And our Lord encouraged His disciples and each of us many times during His three years of ministry to open our hearts and not be afraid: “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.”
And in another place Jesus says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.”
Our Lord is teaching us in today’s Gospel Reading the reward which awaits each of us when we not only embrace but also teach His Truth to others, “But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”
It was reported that Mahatma Gandhi, who lived during the 19th and 20th centuries in India and who devoted his life to truth, justice and peaceful protest, once said, “I like your Christ…I would have no problem becoming a Christian, if only I had ever met one.”
When we take a moment to reflect upon his statement, the question then begs to be asked by each of us – When someone looks at you or me individually, what do they see?
Do they see a true Christian, someone who lives Christ in his or her life? Do our hearts live the virtues of compassion, love, mercy and understanding toward others? Or do we find ourselves more judgmental than merciful, more critical than loving?
Christianity is not just a title; it is a way of life – a way of human moral behavior, guided by inspirations from the Holy Spirit when we are truly opened to His Presence, only when we are truly receptive to all that God is asking of us through His Law of Divine Love – given to us through Sacred Scripture, Tradition and the teaching authority of His Church.
For each one of us individually today, as we look to the faith into which we were baptized and to which we are called to live, Christianity is not a philosophy; it is not an ideology. Rather it is the meeting between two persons – ourself and Jesus Christ in a relationship of love and oneness with each other.
As we embrace and profess this faith which fills each of our hearts, let us pray that we may always place our Lord at the very center of our daily lives, focusing ourselves on what it truly means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
And may our love for Him, strengthened by His Spirit of Love within us, guide our every thought, word and deed – so that we may truly be seen as living examples of Christian love! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17)
- “…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.” (Matthew 5:19)
- “Thus says the LORD: Stand by the earliest roads, ask the pathways of old, ‘Which is the way to good?’ and walk it; thus you will find rest for yourselves. But they said, ‘We will not walk it.’” (Jeremiah 6:16)
- “…our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Corinthians 3:5b-6)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
- “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:29-30)
- “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me.” (John 14:1)
- “You will show me the path to life, abounding joy in your presence, the delights at your right hand forever.” (Psalm 16:11)
Prayer for the Day
“O Risen and Eternal Lord,
the Way, the Truth and the Life,
make us Your faithful followers
in the spirit of Your Resurrection.
“Grant that we may be inwardly renewed;
dying to ourselves, being born to new life in the Spirit,
in order that You may live in us
and guide us in our everyday walk of faith.
“May the faith we live and profess serve as a sign
of the transforming power of Your Love.
We humbly pray, use us as Your instruments
for the renewal of hearts, minds and souls.
“Send Your Spirit to enlighten and strengthen us,
so that we may bring the Good News
of Your Life and Love to all Your children,
as we faithfully serve the needs of the Body of Christ.
“This we ask of you, Lord Jesus,
You who live and reign with our Heavenly Father,
together with the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever. Amen.”Anonymous