HOMILY OF SUNDAY OF THE 6TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Ecclesiasticus 15:16-21, 1 Corinthians 2:6-10, Matthew 5:17-37
THEME: LOVE: THE FULFILMENT OF THE LAW
Quotes: Love is bigger than justice. No man can satisfy its claims.
In Roman 10:4, Paul said that Christ is the end of the law. He preached the spirit of the law, while the pharisees preached the letters of the law.
In Jewish terms, the law can be understood in four senses; the ten Commandments, the first five books of the Old Testament, the whole of the scripture, that is, the Old Testament and oral or scribal laws.
The focus of Jesus is on the oral or scribal laws. Instead of the myriads of laws which the scribes and pharisees formulated out of God’s commandments, Jesus came to unveil the true meaning of the law and to summarise them. However the summary of the ten commandments is simply respect or reverence for:
- God’s name.
- God’s day
- The truth
- Another person good name
The basis of our relationship with God and man is respect.
Hence, Jesus stands to say that the old laws still hold. They remain relevant if only we can understand the essence, which is reverence. The present is a buildup on the past, and our understanding of the past helps us to manage the future. Jesus came, linking the past with the present in order to lead man to the best of future.
In the Second World War, after Dunkirk, there was a serious tendency for a game of blame, mostly directed at those who had managed things in the past. This was because of the disaster that rocked the British forces. As this bitter recrimination was brewing, the Prime Minster, Winston Churchill said, if we open a quarrel between the past and the present, we shall find that we have lost the future.” The British military was expanded by Churchill and the British leadership during the next five years. New planes were added to the RAF. Ships were repaired and replaced, and the British Navy became one of the most powerful in the world once again.
So, Jesus said, I have come not to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfil it. History is a continuum.
More to say, Jesus had more respect for the law than the pharisees and the scribes. Theirs was to follow the demands of the law. Jesus came for the fulfillment of the law which is summarized in love. The Lord said, if you love me, keep my commandments. And how can we claim that we love God if we do not love our brothers and sisters. It is easier to meet the demands of the law than to satisfy the claims of love.
For love, Jesus gave his life on the cross. Love is a sacrifice. Love is freedom to leave one’s own space irrespective of the convenience to help others. Love is a cheerful and generous response to duty calls. Loves does not always insist on right but pays keen attention to responsibilities.
Love is the Fulfilment of the Law (Romans 13:8-10)
May the love of God increase in our hearts that we may love him above all and love our neighbours as we love ourselves. Amen.