Gospel

Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Christ The King Sunday Reflection

The Gospel today continues the reflections on Jesus’ great Sermon on the Mount. He is challenging his disciples to live a life of justice and righteousness which should exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees. Jesus, as the new lawgiver, sets forth his own position with regard to the Law given through Moses, by providing new interpretation and meaning for the old laws. The passage begins with a word of reassurance: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil” (5:17). The law remains and will always remain because it comes from our unchanging God. Jesus intends to state the ideals of the new kingdom on earth that is ushered in by his appearance. His whole intention is to bring people beyond a literal interpretation of rules, and into the spirit of the law. In the New Testament, Jesus presents himself not merely as the continuation or the end of the Old Testament, but as something completely new, original, and superior. Jesus makes God’s love very precise and challenging. Love is measured by faithfulness to the smallest details, to the periods and commas of the law. And our ability to follow it is purely a gift from above. Jesus’ life was a model of this fulfilment. Jesus could say to his disciples not only and not merely, “Follow my law,” but, “Follow me, imitate me, walk in the light.”
In obeying God’s law and Church law, let us remember the two basic principles on which these laws are based, namely, the principle of reverence and the principle of respect. In the first four of the Ten Commandments, we are asked to reverence God, reverence His holy Name, reverence His holy day and reverence our father and mother. The next set of commandments instructs us to respect life, one’s personal integrity and good name, the legal system, another’s property and another’s spouse. Our obedience to these laws must be prompted by love of God and gratitude to God for His blessings.