Jesus reveals He is perfect and warns men of the necessity of righteousness. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of the Fear of the Lord from the Holy Spirit so he can fear the Lord and reject immorality and by seeking the Gift of Knowledge so he can be guided by the Spirit to keep the Commandments.
10th Week in Ordinary Time – Wednesday – Mt 5:17-19
Having described the demands and blessings of holiness in The Beatitudes and the need for men to spread the Gospel, Jesus continues His Sermon on the Mount by reaffirming the absolute moral demands of The 10 Commandments. He then goes much further, calling men to move beyond simply conforming their outer behaviors to The 10 Commandments, to the perfection of conforming even their inner thoughts to the Commandments, a significantly more rigorous internal conversion of the heart.
Jesus starts with the astounding revelation that He fulfills the Law and the Prophets (a shorthand reference to the entire Old Testament), a claim that He perfectly lives out the entire Old Testament and is without sin. As a Person of the Trinity, the Son of God conceived and gave the Law and Prophets, and now, Jesus confirms their absolute binding demands, saying not the “smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter” will be ignored, a cryptic allusion to the Judgment. Jesus knows He is calling men to an impossibly high standard, for every man sins, and will later reveal that only the Divine Mercy of God, delivered through His Holy Catholic Church, can give men the grace to allow them to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus reveals that He has an intimate knowledge of the Kingdom of Heaven, knowing the hierarchy that exists (greater and lesser), the criteria by which men are judged (righteousness) and even those who will not be accepted into Heaven (the evil among the Pharisees and those who are less righteous). Jesus calls all men to honor the Commandments and places great responsibility on those who teach, to teach the fullness of the Commandments or face the grave consequences of the Judgment.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Be awed as Jesus reveals the validity of His New Covenant: Person of the Trinity, with the perfection of Divine Prudence, Jesus assesses and confirms the validity of the entire Old Testament (the Law and the Prophets) and perfectly fulfills it (CCC 577-582); He calls men to imitate His perfect practice of Religion (a part of Justice); Divine Knowledge, Jesus offers mysterious insight into how God assigns honor in the Kingdom of Heaven (greatest, least).
Fear the Lord and reject immorality
Realize: In the increasing darkness of a world that no longer knows or fears God, growing numbers of men are confused about what is right and wrong and do not even understand what it means to be “moral”; to be moral (Latin, moralis, meaning “proper behavior for a man in society”) is to understand good and evil, and to choose to do the good.
Believe: Reflect upon The Moral Law (CCC 1949-1986).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of The Fear of the Lord so I have a visceral knowledge that mortal sin leads to Hell, recognize my moral weakness, and have a soul-deep fear of ever being separated from the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit because of sin; Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
Seek the Spirit to keep the Commandments
Realize: Because God binds men to keep the Moral Law, God gives The 10 Commandments, and Jesus comes to explain and demonstrate them to men.
Believe: Reflect upon The 10 Commandments (CCC 2052-2082).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so The 10 Commandments are embedded in my mind, guide my every moral decision, and I keep the Commandments in all my thoughts, words and deeds; Lord, allow me to receive You in the Sacrament of the Eucharist so I may better keep Your Commandments.