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A LAW OF LOVE FOR US TO KEEP

Father Francis's picture
Third Week of Lent

Deut. 4:1,5-9 & Mt. 5:17-19

It appeared to the scribes and Pharisees that Jesus had come to abolish the Law, but Jesus assured His disciples that this was not the case. For Him the Law was the Ten Commandments given to Moses, and the teachings of the prophets. But the Pharisees over many years had added their own petty rules and rituals which had to be observed in minute detail: they had become, in their minds, part of God's Law and because Jesus was not prepared to accept them, he was accused of law-breaking.

These petty additions were laying intolerable burdens on people; they were against the whole spirit of the Law which was to give freedom to people. That is how Moses viewed the observance of the Law: if it were observed then they would have life and God would give them the land He had promised.

When Jesus said that He had come to complete the Law, He meant that He wanted to simplify it. He insisted that the original commandments be maintained, but that they should be observed in a loving way. The Pharisees in their obsession with regulations, showed no love or sympathy for their fellow human beings. For example, according to their principles, healing on the Sabbath was an infringement of the law and merited punishment but, for or Jesus, it was a blessing for the person concerned.

He perfected the Law by summing it up in two new commandments: love God wholeheartedly and love your neighbour as you love yourself. He says that if we observe the Laws that He came to perfect - the laws of love – and teach others to observe them we shall be great in the kingdom of Heaven.

God's laws are not a burden on us but a blessing. Since He made us, He knows how to get the best out of us. That is why He has given us these Laws. If we observe them we shall be happy and live life to the full. Let us try to keep them lovingly and joyfully.

Lord Jesus, our heavenly Father gave us the Ten Commandments. They are to be our rules for leading a happy life. May we observe them wholeheartedly.

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