Daily Meditation: "Do not think that I have come to remove the Law and the Prophets..."
Gospel text (Mt 5,17-19):
Jesus said to his disciples, "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".
"Do not think that I have come to remove the Law and the Prophets. I have come to fulfill them"
Today the different religions are highly respected. They all express man's quest of transcendence, of the great beyond, of the everlasting realities. And yet, in Christianism, plunging its roots in Judaism, this phenomenon is the other way round: it is God Who is in quest of man.
As John Paul II reminded us, God wants to get closer to man. God wants to address him his words, to show him his face for He is seeking closeness with him. This becomes a reality with the people of Israel, people chosen by God to receive his words. This is Moses' own experience when he says: "What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord, our God, is near us whenever we pray to him?" (Deut 4:7). And, even then, the psalmist says "God has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his law" (Ps 147:19-20).
Therefore, Jesus, with his presence, abides by God's wish to get closer to man. This is why He says "Do not think that I have come to remove the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to remove but to fulfill them" (Mt 5:17). He comes to enrich us, to enlighten us, so that men come to know God's true face and may enter in closeness with him.
In this way, to ignore God's suggestions, no matter how insignificant, involves a very paltry knowledge of God which, in turn, involves being considered as small in the Kingdom of Heaven. In this connection, Saint Theophilus of Antioch, said "God is seen only by those who can see him; all they need is to have the eyes of the spirit opened (...), but some men have them blurred".
In our prayer we are aiming to faithfully follow the indications of our Lord. Thus, we shall have a greater closeness with him and, therefore, we shall be considered big in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Fr. Vicenç GUINOT i Gómez
(Sant Feliu de Llobregat, Spain)
Audio: Wednesday 3nd of Lent