Wednesday, 26 March 2014 : 3rd Week of Lent (Scripture Reflections)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Jesus in the fulfillment of the law of old, and He made the old covenant of God complete. He fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham, David, and all His people, including even to Adam and Eve, our first ancestors. Jesus then made a new covenant with all of us, whom He had chosen to be the partakers of that new covenant, which He sealed with His own blood.

Thus, that is the message that Christ brought with Him, as written in the Gospel today, to bring completion to the Law of God, and to teach all the children of God, all the true meaning of God’s Law likely long forgotten by the people, many generations after it has been revealed through Moses, the servant of God.

Over the generations, the true meaning of the Law had been lost, as they were told from mouth to mouth down the generations. Over time, those in charge of protecting the Law changed the law as they saw fit, and they corrupted the true law and turn it into something else. That is why Jesus came, and why He apparently changed the Law, that is because the law itself was no longer the same Law which God had given through Moses.

Jesus came to fulfill the Law, to make it true and pure once again, He explained the truth about the Law and its real purpose, thus bringing the people of God once again to true obedience to God. True obedience to God does not mean blind obedience or extremist attitudes, which in fact blocks the path to salvation, because the people were distracted from truly obeying God, and instead serve mankind’s purposes.

That is how it is important for us not to follow our own wisdom and intelligence in understanding and following our faith. Often this had led to misunderstandings and corruption of the true faith, becoming something that is misshapen and evil instead of something that is good.

Jesus had fulfilled the past covenant, and in its place, is a renewed and upgraded covenant, which He made with all of the human race. This new covenant promised us eternal life and salvation in Jesus if we stay faithful to Him by actively fulfilling our part of that covenant. This new covenant was brought to us through the shedding of His blood, that we are made once again worthy and cleansed of our sins.

This He conveyed to us through His Apostles and disciples, who in turn passed the teachings and the knowledge of the new covenant through the Church over the centuries and millennia, until this very day. Therefore in the Church, there exists a deposit of faith which keeps our faith in God like an anchor, preventing us from corrupting it and causing what had happened to the people of God and the past covenant.

Many people over the centuries had given in to the temptations of the world, the temptations of power and glory, to establish their own invalid and heretical ‘churches’ and gatherings, breaking apart the unity of the Church and bringing many to sin and condemnation by splitting them away from the deposit of faith that is in the Church of God, One and only Church.

They followed their own ways, and interpret God’s message as they like, in their own limited human wisdom and understandings, which resulted in various interpretations and teachings that no longer bring salvation to those who believe in them, just like what had happened to the people of God at the time of Jesus, and their misunderstandings about what the law of God truly means.

Brothers and sisters, therefore, today let us reflect on these readings and how important our faith is to us. May our Lord Jesus Christ continue to guide us, and strengthen our faith and devotion to Him through the Church, that we may keep His new covenant with us at all times, and seek to understand it through the teachings of the Church, that we will not falter or fall away. Be with us, Lord Jesus, and love us all, always. Amen.

 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 : 3rd Week of Lent (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Matthew 5 : 17-19

Do not think that I have come to annul the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to annul them but to fulfill them.

I tell you this : as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in 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.

 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 : 3rd Week of Lent (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Psalm 147 : 12-13, 15-16, 19-20

Exalt the Lord, o Jerusalem; praise your God, o Zion! For He strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your children within you.

He sends His command to the earth and swiftly runs His word. He spreads snow like wool; He scatters frost like ashes.

It is He who tells Jacob His words, His laws and decrees to Israel. This He has not done for other nations, so His laws remain unknown to them. Alleluia!

 

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 : 3rd Week of Lent (First Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Purple/Violet

Deuteronomy 4 : 1, 5-9

And now, Israel, listen to the norms and laws which I teach that you may put them into practice. And you will live and enter and take possession of the land which YHVH, the God of your fathers, gives you.

See, as YHVH, my God, ordered me. I am teaching you the norms and the laws that you may put them into practice in the land you are going to enter and have as your own. If you observe and practice them, other peoples will regard you as wise and intelligent. When they come to know of all these laws, they will say, “There is no people as wise and as intelligent as this great nation.”

For in truth, is there a nation as great as ours, whose gods are as near to it as YHVH, our God, is to us whenever we call upon Him? And is there a nation as great as ours whose norms and laws are as just as this Law which I give you today?

But be careful and be on your guard. Do not forget these things which your own eyes have seen nor let them depart from your heart as long as you live. But on the contrary, teach them to your children and to your children’s children.