Today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:17-19):
‘Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them. I tell you solemnly, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law until its purpose is achieved. Therefore, the man who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of heaven; but the man who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of heaven.’’
Some people believe Jesus came to ‘change’ the Commandments given by God to Moses. Yet scripture makes it abundantly clear that Jesus did not intend to do anything other than complete them and to restate their importance, hitting home the point that infringing the Commandments would not be without consequences. The Commandments are as follows:
Jesus, in completing the Commandments then added the following: you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and with all your strength; and you shall love your neighbour as yourself.
We are all obliged by God to keep these Commandments. If we defy any of them, we defy God. Yet if we keep them, we do the Will of God. He is the Creator and this is His world. He makes the rules and we show the respect He deserves by sticking to them. And let’s face it they aren’t exactly tricky rules are they? Have only one God; love Him dearly and don’t take His name in vain; keep the Sabbath holy; be nice to your mother and father; don’t kill; don’t commit adultery; don’t steal; don’t lie; and treat everyone with love and respect. If everyone kept these Commandments wouldn’t we be living in a much happier place? Wouldn’t we all be getting along in a world without murder, adultery, stealing, lying and gossiping? Wouldn’t it be a place of happiness where bad news stories were a thing of the past and the media suddenly becomes a bastion of positive energy, telling us about all the great things happening in our world?
It’s true that many of you will have chuckled at the thought of trying to achieve such a world. Why? Is it so impossible that we aren’t even willing to try? Of course it isn’t impossible. God would never have given us these Commandments if He didn’t think we could keep them. Similarly, Jesus would never have reinforced them if he thought we couldn’t keep them. The Commandments are in place for a very good reason; they are to be respected and kept, and they are to be treasured as the means by which we can achieve everlasting peace in our world.
Our work in keeping these Commandments starts today. It starts right here and now with each and every one of us. People have the ability to change the world. Just think of every murder ever committed in our world. Not one would have occurred had everyone kept the Commandments of God. There would be no theft, no lies, no fighting. What a beautiful world! But can we really achieve this perfect world? Just remember this: nothing is impossible with God.