I have to take my car in today for repairs. That means my wife gets the privilege to chauffer me around. I wonder how I will have to pay for this pleasure?
Have you ever wondered if we had to still follow all those little rules in the Old Testament, since Jesus is in the New Testament? The answer is yes! Read about why in my reflection today.
Quote or Joke of the Day:
If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining.
“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.” (NAB Mt 5:17-19)
Jesus’ position concerning the Mosaic Law was composed of traditional material known to all the Jewish faithful; from the torah, prophetic history, and verbal history and religious education of His day. To fulfill the law meant to enforce the law to the least detail, and without exception. Jesus was saying that until heaven and earth passes away, none of the Mosaic Laws will pass from existence.
Jesus loved his faith, and was sympathetic to all aspects of Judaism. He was only critical of some of the developments and actions he saw harmful; especially the abuses and hypocrasy from the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Scribes of the Temple.
The “passing away” of heaven and earth is not the end of the world as understood in apocalyptic literature of that time, but instead as the dissolution of the existing universe as they knew it.. The “turning of the ages” instead comes with the event of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Those to whom this gospel is addressed were, and are, living in the new and final age prophesied by Isaiah in Isaiah 65-66 of the Old testament. This time of a “new heaven and a new earth” is the NEW covenant that was established with the events on Gethsemane on that stormy Friday afternoon, and finalized with our redemption and salvation on the first Easter Sunday, a short three days later.
During Jesus’ ministry, when His kingdom on earth was already beginning, His mission always remained within the framework of the Mosaic Law, but with a significant anticipation of a new age to come. Jesus never did away with any of the laws from the Old Covenant, but only clarified and added to those of the old, thus establishing the new way to salvation, through Him.
The commandments written about in the last sentence of this gospel reading are those of the Mosaic Law. You know them well: the “Ten Commandments”, plus about 600 other regulations on every aspect of Jewish life. Jesus lived by these laws, died by these laws, and added to these laws: He never, in any way, diluted or deleted any of the Mosaic Laws.
“Lord, I wish to live according to your ways. Please help me to follow you commands. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Catholic Saint of the Day: St. John Ogilvie
Born in 1579, John Ogilvie belonged to Scottish nobility. Raised a Calvinist, he was educated on the continent. Exposed to the religious controversies of his day and impressed with the faith of the martyrs, he decided to become a Catholic. In 1596, at age seventeen he was received into the Church at Louvain. Later John attended a variety of Catholic educational institutions, and eventually he sought admission into the Jesuits. He was ordained at Paris in 1610 and asked to be sent to Scotland, hoping some Catholic nobles there would aid him given his lineage. Finding none, he went to London, then back to Paris, and finally returned to Scotland. John’s work was quite successful in bring back many people to the Faith. Sometime later he was betrayed by one posing as a Catholic. After his arrest he was tortured in prison in an effort to get him to reveal the names of other Catholics, but he refused. After three trials, John was convicted of high treason because he converted Protestants to the Catholic Faith as well as denied the king’s spiritual jurisdiction by upholding the Pope’s spiritual primacy and condemning the oaths of supremacy and allegiance. Sentenced to death, the courageous priest was hanged at Glasgow in 1615 at the age of thirty-six. His feast day is March 10.
(From http://www.catholic.org/saints/ website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #10:
United themselves to the redemptive obedience of Jesus, who placed His will into the Father’s hands, let them faithfully fulfill the duties proper to their various circumstances of life. Let them also follow the poor and crucified Christ, witness to Him even in difficulties and persecutions.