Liturgical Colour : Green
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, on this day we listened to the words of the Scripture speaking to us about the importance of understanding and appreciating the true meaning of the Law of God, or otherwise we will end up misunderstanding and misusing the Law as what our predecessors had done in the past, and which the Lord has warned us against through His Apostles, as what St. Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Church and the faithful in Corinth, which is our first reading today.
In that reading, we essentially heard the comparison made between the letter of the Law and the Spirit of the Law. What is meant by the letter of the Law? It is the Law as how it had been revealed and written down by first of all Moses, the first one through whom God revealed His Law to His people, but the letter or the text of the Law by itself can easily be misunderstood and misused by those who did not truly understand the meaning and the purpose of the Law.
That was exactly what happened at the time of the Lord Jesus, when the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law enforced the Law very rigorously and rigidly, down to the letter and the very wordings of the text of the Law, often understanding the Law literally but not knowing or appreciating the context and the purpose for which the Law had been given to us for by God. They made the people to endure the heavy burden of obedience to the laws and customs they imposed on the latter.
But the Lord revealed that even if someone were to fulfil the obligations of the whole Law in letter but not in Spirit, then everything will not be complete. The Law is not complete and life-giving unless we truly understand it fully and completely both in its letter and its Spirit. That is where we need to appreciate what the Law of God is about, in how the Church has kept it faithfully and explained its truth to us.
As what the Lord Himself has revealed to us, the Law is about love, first of all the great and enduring love that God has for each and every one of us. God has loved us all so much, that He did not just give us all life, but also His providence throughout our lives, and guiding us all down the right path, so that we may not be lost to Him because of sin and disobedience. And therefore, it is only right that we should love Him in the same manner.
Unfortunately, many of us, just as how the people of Jesus’ time has behaved, we did not have true love and dedication for God. How many of us carry out the obligations of our faith and the precepts of the Church just because we want to get it over and done with, or because we feel that it is our obligation and duty to do so and therefore we do it? How many of us in fact go for the Mass just because the Church said so?
How many of us go for Mass and for confession because we are afraid of going to hell if we do not do all these? And yet, because we do not truly understand what we are doing, that is why we keep on sinning and disobeying God, as the love of God is not within our hearts and minds. We just do things going through the motions and not because of the strong and living faith that are within us.
Today, all of us are called to reflect on our own lives and how we have lived our lives thus far. Are we able to dedicate ourselves with love and devotion for God, and doing everything because we love God Who has first loved us all so tenderly from now onwards? We are all called to be loving and obedient disciples and followers of the Lord, doing all that we can to observe His laws and commandments, not because they are our obligations or because we fear the anger of God, but rather because we love God with all of our hearts.
Let us all renew our commitment to love God from now on, and be ever more dedicated at all times, to be ever closer to God and to follow Him in all of His ways. Let us do our very best to love Him and to serve Him from now on, till the last days of our lives. Amen.