Prayer of the Day

Third Week of Lent

March 2nd, 2016
"The one who keeps these commandments and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven. " Matthew 5 : 18
sermon on the Mount

A superficial reading of the New Testament could lead us to think that Jesus was a radical preacher who set out to change everything.  Yet as we read in today’s Gospel this is not so.  Jesus says that “the one who infringes even one of the least of the commandments and teaches others to do so will be considered least in the kingdom of heaven.” The original commandments  were given by God to Moses in order to guide the people to a right relationship with God, each other, and creation.  Over the centuries many unnecessary rules and regulations were added on to these commandments.  Rabbinical sources tell us that by the time of Jesus the ‘Law’ consisted of 613 commandments.  Jesus was able to separate the essential from the inessential and this brought him into fierce conflict with the Pharisees.  At the Sermon on the Mount Jesus outlined his blueprint for Christian living. And before he died he gave his disciples his new law of love.  The Pharisees thought that holiness consisted of strictly keeping every last one of the 613 commandments.  These rules were mostly about external observances which took little account of inner dispositions.  The need for self- knowledge and growth was completely overlooked by them.  Sin comes from within and it has deep roots in each of us and it needs to be acknowledged and dealt with.

Prayer

Lord Jesus reveal to us our sinfulness in the light of your mercy. Amen