BUT WHOEVER OBEYS AND TEACHES THESE COMMANDMENTS WILL BE CALLED GREATEST IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.” MT 5:17-19
Humbly submit your will to God (Thy Will be done) and consecrate yourself to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through Mary and Joseph.
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.” MT 5:17-19
Jesus reminds us today that the commandments carry some weight. When is the last time you did a good examination of conscience going through the 10 commandments? Each of us have our favorite sins. We know them well, but do these sins we commit habitually cause us to miss something else that might be leading us to those sins found in the other commandments.
What exactly is it that you struggle with that may be causing problems in your relationships? A person cannot change others, but they can change and control themselves. A person’s ego is going to immediately tell them it is another person’s fault. The Devil is the great deceiver that could be tempting a person. All these need to be considered when a person examines their conscience. The Truth never changes and can’t contradict itself.
Jesus boldly states, “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.” This comes right after the beatitudes, the way to true happiness (holiness) and gaining eternal life. He then gives us consequences if we don’t keep them.
Sin has its own consequences. There are serious consequences for sin and not following the commandments. Obedience is the first step to holiness and disobedience gave all humanity Original Sin. Basically, it boils down to selfishness and unselfishness based on trust. Sin is telling God we don’t care, period or God, I don’t trust you.
If we keep the commandments, we will know Christ’s heart. Isn’t that the point of every Lent; get to know Christ’s heart better, more deeply. That should be the goal every day. When we get to know Jesus’s heart (which begins at the foot of the Cross), in His proclamation of the kingdom (Gospels), and especially the belief that He resurrected and all His Words are true, the absolute Truth, we will be ready to fight sin. We will not want to hurt Christ when we really get to know His heart.
A relationship only continues to keep its trust when a person spends time each day with another. This is not a once a week or once a month thing. A person has to put time, effort, and invest in a relationship with Christ each day.
Christ’s heart is full of sacrificial love. We were never worthy as sinners for a sinless Man to die for us. It would be one thing if we were just. St. Paul says, “He died for us as we were still sinners.” We have a God who is crazy in love with us. A radical love that even loves enemies and sinners who know they are sinning. Why? God is love straight through-Bishop Barron He cannot not love. This love is compassion (to suffer with), mercy (as many do overs as we need), and forgiveness (unlimited).
So, not out of fear but love will we start to turn from our selfish ways and follow these commandments that bring us joy. Obedience requires sacrifice and suffering. Suffering brings joy. We were born into a battlefield not a picnic field. We have to stop thinking things will get easier or God will take away the pain and suffering. When we give ourselves to God, the battle begins. God is the one who gives us what we need for the battle and the rewards for fighting are eternal!
The Devil puts in our minds that God is trying to take away our fun by following His commandments. These commands are to protect us from the Devil and misery because we have a loving Father fighting to protect us. We need to stop holding on to the things that make us miserable.
So, where do we start seeing the commandments for what they truly are? Pray by just talking to Christ and asking Him for His grace to help you get to know His heart better. Ask Him to give you the grace to love more and the results will be sinning less and being selfless. Be a servant! Become a saint! “But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” MT 5:17-19
Today’s challenge: Seek Christ’s heart! Be silent and listen instead of talking during prayer. Reflect on Jesus’s message and apply it in one way each day.
Be a servant, become a saint!
Bible Study Questions:
1. How do you hold yourself accountable?
2. Why does it feel like God’s commandments restrict us?
3. What Truth did Jesus reveal to us today about the commandments?
4. How were the Jews following the Mosaic Law incorrectly?
5. Why is it important to remember that we can never follow human opinion as more authoritative than Divine Revelation?
6. What is Jesus trying to tell you today that you can apply to your life about the weight the 10 commandments carry and that there are consequences when we don’t follow them?
Practical Applications to hold a person accountable with God’s Truths (Reality/what is):
Beginners: Fr. Mike Schmitz Daily Examen: 1. God knows you better than you know yourself. 2. God loves you more than you love yourself. 3. God wants you to know his will for you. Questions to examen your conscience: 1. Did I pray today? 2. Am I in the state of grace? 3. Am I doing my daily tasks?
Experienced: St. Ignatius of Loyola Daily Examen: https://www.ignatianspirituality.com/examen-prayer-card/