Matthew 22:34:40 GOSPEL READING AND REFLECTION (August 21, 2020)
When the Pharisees saw how Jesus had silenced the Sadducee’s, they assembled together. One of them, a lawyer, questioned him to test him, “Teacher, which commandment of the law is the greatest?” Jesus answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and the most important of the commandments. The second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets are founded on these two commandments.
POINTS OF REFLECTION
When we talk about laws among experts, it is more about looking into the “how’s” of it rather than the “what’s” that makes a person obey or follow the laws. In fact, many lawyers win their cases not because they are fortunate of their innocent clients but because of some questions of technicalities on the procedural processes that seem to create some material doubts which in the final judgment opted the judge to get away from the loop of reasonable doubts.
A very important thing to remember that the first six books of the Bible called “Torah” contains more or less 613 laws for the followers to follow as forced to them by the law experts before Jesus time, so that the people was bombarded with so much burden and difficulty that led them to think of the impossibility of following because of the how’s or the technical specification. What looks improper and unrightfully inviting gesture of law experts modelling, were their inability to enjoin not even a finger to lift up the burden of these laws. This caused many to be more sinful and went away from the ways of God.
When Jesus came, he only highlighted the two greatest commandments: First, loving God with all our hearts, soul and mind. Second, loving thy neighbor as one loved thyself. These two greatest commandments, as being told, clarifies and summarizes all the laws and lightens the burden of the followers. It is about the “what’s” that is; deepening one’s personal relationship to the Father as yourself into your neighbor. The greatest commandments serve as the gateway for us to be able to follow all the laws stipulated in the first six books in the Bible. Doing the two greatest commandments does not necessitate so much technicalities but needs only the bigger picture that is the “what’s of our faith to the Father, who is in heaven.
Finally brothers and sisters in Christ, Jesus teaches us to follow God’s commandments by looking into the “what’s”. Jesus bank on the question, what would make us follow God’s laws? All are encouraged to start it by going into an extra serious relationship with God and to the people around them perfected with commitment, responsibilities and acts of mercy and compassion.