Homily (Reflection) for Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent (2nd March, 2016) on the Gospel

Deut 4:1.5-9;
Ps 147:12-13.15-16.19-20 (R. v. 12);
Matt 5:17-19.

Topic: Measure of greatness.

Jesus tells us in today’s gospel that His coming is to fulfil the law and the prophets. To show that nothing is negligible in the word of God He goes on to say, “not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” Jesus concludes saying,

Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:19).

The prophet Daniel reads, “And those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Dan 12:3). One might ask, ‘Who are the wise?’ The Psalm reads, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who practice it. His praise endures forever!” (Ps 111:10; cf. Job 28:28; Prov 9:10). And the book of Proverbs goes further, “The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil” (Prov 8:13).

The fear of the Lord leads to life, cf. Prov 19:23. It also prolongs life, cf. Prov 10:27. Its reward is riches and honour and life, cf. Prov 22:4. It is “a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death” (Prov 14:27).

True greatness therefore is achieved by doing the will of God wholeheartedly. There is no half measure. Either you are in or out because “whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (Jas 2:10).

Bible Reading: Dan 12:2-3; Jas 2:1-13.

Thought for today: Unless you are wise.

Let us pray: May the Holy Spirit teach us the fear of the Lord which leads to true greatness – Amen.

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