By Sherry Antonetti
Today’s Gospel strikes that odd tone in the heart as only Jesus can. He tells 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.” With Christ, it is always more, not less. In saying this, Jesus illustrates to the world, not just then, but for all time, the deeper reality of God’s laws. They are revealed in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New. God does not change, but as we grow, we become more able to accept, embrace, and live more fully what God wrote on our hearts.
“Not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.” God’s laws are eternal and not subject to fashion or philosophy, or the times. What was true then is true now. What is good and holy now, was good and holy then, and it is a great comfort to know, we do not need to wring our hands or wrack our brains to understand it, it merely is. In this day and age, when much of our world embraces relativism as a primary means through which to understand or deliberately misunderstand the world, it is comforting to find something solid as the cross. A rock, upon which to rest our spirits and know, what was true is true and ever shall be true. What God proclaims, He never unproclaims.
However, there is also tremendous mercy in these hard statements with his final comments. “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.” This, of course, presumes teachers will teach in error, and reinforce such error as truth, and yet, they shall be welcomed according to Christ’s words but shall be least. Likewise, there is tremendous reinforcement of the idea, one should pursue, practice, and teach truth with the promise of Jesus’ final words in this Gospel reading, “But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” A heady title indeed, and we already know who holds this title, The Blessed Mother, the Queen of Heaven, who obeys and teaches by her life, by the Rosary established through the mysteries of her life, all these things. Let us aspire to be like Mary, and rejoice at her title.
Let us also recognize, Christ isn’t in the business of making the way to Heaven unknown. He is continually revealing to us that what God desires is written on our hearts and always available if we seek, and the more we seek, the more we will discover of God’s infinite love and will for ourselves and our lives. Let us seek to be the least on Earth, that we might be in the company of the greatest in Heaven.
About the author:
Sherry Antonetti is a Catholic wife/mother and teacher. You can find her work at the Catholic Standard and National Catholic Register. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.