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.”
I love to talk about the importance of the Commandments. So often we dismiss them as outdated. We think that because they come from the Old Testament they no longer have an impact on our lives. However, as Jesus says in today’s Gospel, “I have come not to abolish but to fulfill [the law and the prophets].”
The Commandments are God’s law of love. Just like parents who lay out rules for their children because you love them, God has given us rules because He loves us. They are not meant to stifle our fun, but they are meant to bring us joy by living in His grace.
The first three Commandments talk about loving God. The last seven talk about loving our neighbor. Jesus summarized the Ten with two: love God and love neighbor. As long as we follow God’s law of love, we experience His grace and will be called “greatest in the Kingdom of heaven”. The same is true for children who abide by their parents’ rules. They stay in their parents’ graces and all is well with them.
Jesus teaches us that not only is it important to follow the Commandments ourselves, but we are called to teach them to others as well. He calls each of us to be evangelists in our own way. In order to teach the faith, we need to learn it ourselves. Am I a student of Jesus and our faith? Most Catholics don’t know their faith at all. We need to begin to study our faith like Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus the Teacher and learned from the Master Himself.
According to Matthew Kelly’s research in The Four Signs of a Dynamic Catholic, the 7% of Catholics who truly are engaged in their faith spend on average 14 minutes a day studying their faith. They do this by reading a good Catholic book, or listen to Catholic CD’s, or watch Catholic DVD’s or television.
Do I follow the Commandments of God?
Am I a student of my faith?
Do I share my faith with others?
Have I lead someone astray by teaching them something that is not God’s way?
Have a blessed day!