The Fulfillment of the Law

Sunday Gospel Reflection
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 5:17-37 | February 12, 2023

The Fulfillment of the Law
Josie Gonzales

“Do not think that I came to do away with the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets…whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven…I tell you, then, that you will be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven only if you are more faithful than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees in doing what God requires

…if you are angry with your brother you will be brought to trial…if you call your brother a worthless fool you will be in danger of going to the fire of hell…anyone who looks at a woman and wants to possess her is guilty of committing adultery with her in his heart…do not use any vow when you make a promise. Just say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ – anything else you say comes from the Evil One.” – Matthew 17, 19, 20, 22, 28, 34, 37

The Transfiguration of Jesus, in his human form, to his glorified state on Mount Tabor is the fulfillment of the Law and the teachings of the prophets as Moses and Elijah appeared on the mount when Jesus was transfigured.

The Gospel this Sunday talks about the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets. Jesus clearly tells us that He didn’t “come to do away with the Law but to make their teachings come true “—teachings about the Law itself, about anger, about adultery, divorce, and breaking vows.

This is God’s universal love for us manifesting in Christ Jesus, His beloved son. Love is experiential from the Almighty Father to Jesus, cascading to us, His ultimate creation, so we may understand what love is, how to love, and be loved.

Marahil marami sa atin ay marunong magmahal: magmahal sa sarili, sa mga materyal na bagay, sa mga pinagbabawal ng lipunan at ng batas, sa pera at marangyang buhay sa gitna ng kahirapan sa lipunan.
Ang pagmamahal ng Panginoon ay hindi pansarili…it is love beyond ‘self’…it is sacrifice to achieve the highest good…it is giving without counting the cost…sharing without expectation…letting go freely…caring truly and wholly…generosity in thoughts, words and deeds. This is what Jesus, our Savior, meant in the Gospel when He said, “make the teachings of the prophets and the Law of Moses come true.”

Ang unang utos ng Panginoon is to love God above all; second, is to love others as yourself. Madali ba natin sundin ang dalawang pinakamataas at pinakadakilang utos ng Diyos? Kaya ba? o susuwayin ba natin ang dakilang kautusan? Pagnilayan natin ito…

Totoo ba na madali lamang sabihin pero mahirap gawin? What if the Lord suddenly appears in front of us? We would probably fall on our knees, kiss his feet, lay prostrate on the ground and, like a ‘mantra’, cry out to the heavens for pardon and forgiveness because of the sinners that we are. Madaling sabihin, mahirap gawin. But, with God nothing is impossible. Our heart beats because deep inside we know Him, we feel His presence, we hear that small voice within telling us ‘I am here and will never forsake you, my dear child.’

Unlike the Pharisees who were blinded by the letter of the Law, Jesus looked at both the letter and the spirit of the Law. He made clear the teachings by being that one perfect example to mankind so we may truly know the nature of God—benevolent, kind, generous, loving. He ate with sinners, stayed in their homes, healed the sick regardless of nationality, color, and creed—the unconditional expression of love and compassion. Jesus came to fulfill the Law so that we may be saved from sin. Siya ay namatay sa krus para tubusin tayo sa pagkakasala—pagkakasala sa sarili, sa kapwa, sa lipunan, sa kalikasan at higit sa lahat sa Poong Maykapal na pinagmumulan ng pagpapala at biyayang tinatamasa natin sa araw-araw. Alam ba natin ito? O nabaon sa limot dahil abala tayo sa kamunduhan? Let us reflect on this and be truly sorry for our disobedience, our callousness, disrespect, and unfaithfulness to our Almighty Source of life.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us that anger is no different from murder. When we are angry with our loved one, our neighbor, a friend, the delivery rider who gets lost; angry when stuck in traffic and angry with poor government service, it is killing in thought, in word, and deed. Jesus also reminds us to be honest and true not only to ourselves but to the least of our brothers. Honesty means saying ‘No’ to honor our ‘Yes’—say ‘no’ to avoid false hopes since a ‘yes’ means commitment. The Lord goes on by telling us to live a life of faith—faithful to our heavenly Father, to our Lord Jesus, to our Sanctifier, the Holy Spirit by being obedient, humble, and true followers of Christ. In this physical world, this means faithfulness to our vows, to our family, to our mission in Christ.

Are we on the right path? Tumitibay ba ang ating pananampalataya sa Panginoon? Or are we still among the lost sheep? The Lord will find us because we are his beloved. As I reflect and pray, I pray more and more and more because the ‘evil one’ continues to linger. Like many of us, I have my own share of ‘ups and downs’, an endless tale of woes and pain, a rollercoaster ride in life. Our only saving grace is up there in His heavenly Kingdom. Magsama-sama tayo patungo sa Kanyang kaharian. Doon natin makakamtan ang tunay na kaligayahan.

A very blessed Sunday!

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