Thursday, March 27, 2014

Jesus and the Law

From the Hermitage

Please Note:  The following reflection was prepared for Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dear Friends,

As you can imagine my mind is traveling in so many directions these days.  Your prayers for my brother continue to be on the request list as well as for our Pastor who is under the weather these days.  So I am rather occupied, as one might say.  Hopefully the boss will be back up and running by Saturday and as well it is my hope that my brother will be able to leave the hospital for some need physical therapy at a rehabilitation center in Lewes, Delaware.  So, let's start the reflection.

Reading Matthew's words from Jesus, I reflected on the Law issues or the business that Jesus was speaking about to those who were listening to his historic Sermon on the Mount.

What Jesus is saying to the faithful followers is simply this:  I am a "thoroughly observant Jew who is devoted to keeping the Law."  Perhaps these these words of his sermon at this point should give us today reason to wonder and ask "what would Jesus say" if a large number of our population were gathered in a huge field with many large television screens and a good sound system.

What would be the reaction if Jesus said those very same words: "I do not replace the Law, nor do I break the Law."  Of course Jesus speaks of the Ten Commandments.  Continuing he might say: "My message to you is this.  "I come to you in your modern world so advanced compared to my words you read in Evangelist Matthew's account of my Sermon on the Mount.  My mission, the work my Father, our Father, has given me and you is to "bring the Law to its fulfillment in your lives and times.  Bring the Law to what Yahweh, our Father, intended it to be and what it was to accomplish in the hearts of humankind.

What I think we should read and hear in these few words of Jesus is that the Law, the Commandments, are as valid today as they were centuries ago.  Likewise we are called upon to recognize that Jesus is the "authentic interpreter of the Law for a changed situation' (New Testatment, Daniel Durkin, p 24).

For this reason our Church, our Popes, especially now our new Pope, Francis, through much prayer and consultation endeavor to learn from the Holy Spirit what Jesus would say to us today.  Therefore, it is our obligation, I believe, to pray to the Holy Spirit on behalf of Pope Francis that he may inspire Cardinals, Bishops, Priests and Laity -- all together -- to pray for the grace of wisdom to hear and understand what the Holy Spirit is calling for us to learn in our lives and times.