Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19
I once had a friend who was struggling in a difficult marriage. Her husband, a Catholic scholar who loved to study Scripture, would read her passages from the Bible, about how wives should ‘submit’ to their husbands, and grow angry at what he saw as her daily rebellions and failure to submit.
We never can know all the details about what goes on inside another person’s marriage, but one thing that struck me about what my friend shared with me was that while her husband was hyper-focused on some finer points of God’s word and laws, he was missing the biggest law God gives us: Love one another.
It can be easy to judge others who fail to love as Jesus calls us, and begin to feel superior; but we must be honest about our own failures to love as well. We must be open to seeing the ways in which we sometimes focus on the finer points of God’s law and neglect to love others first.
In today’s reading, we find Jesus reminding us that He did not come to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. And how is that? With love. In ancient times, “an eye for an eye” was seen as justice, but Jesus came to complete our understanding of that justice by teaching that love comes first. None of those other laws can even begin to matter if we fail to love others first.
Whether it’s inside of our marriages, our parenting, our friendships, our workplaces, or our community at large, when we struggle with anger, frustration, disappointment, or injustice, let us strive to remember God’s greatest commandment first: Love one another. Without love, nothing else matters.
In what ways might God be calling me to grow in love and let go of anger and resentment today?
Jesus, help me to see others as You do. I want to see the truth clearly and love others — my friends, family, and even strangers — as the precious children they are in Your eyes.
Copyright 2019 Danielle Bean
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