Wednesday of the 10th of the Year

Matt 5: 17-19

Teaching about the Law


March 15, 2003 marked an important event in the lives of the Aetas of Tarucan and Marugpo, Capas, Tarlac. It was their first Pre-school Recognition Day. There were 91 pupils from Tarucan and 42 from Marugpo who received their certificates as confirmation of their active participation in the class. Elders, leaders, teachers and parents of our Aeta children and some guests were very happy during the occasion. In the speeches made by some leaders, they expressed their gratitude to God for making education possible for them. Education was one of their aspirations in life and they had prayed to God for this.  They lavishly praised and thanked God for granting their wish. They experienced God’s love through people whom God sent to help them, people who reached them despite the fact that they live in a far-flung place. I was happy to have been one of those privileged to serve them, trying to make God’s love felt, experienced and known by them the Aetas proclaimed: “Apo Malyari is our God, the God who knows the longing and desires of our hearts and who has made His love visible to us. He is our God who provides all our needs.”

In the first reading of today, Elijah called upon God for help. He prayed sincerely and never lost heart in believing that God would make impossible things possible. God gave in to Elijah’s prayers. God manifested Himself as the one, true and Almighty God.

There are many people in our society today who claim power that is backed by money, status and position. Modern technology offers fast communication and immediate response to our pressing needs. It gives us a sense of power. May we not forget however, that it is God who is in control of everything. He is God who is powerful and almighty. Yet He is one who stoops down to listen to His little ones when they cry to Him for help. God will surely hear our prayers and He will respond to us in His own time and in His own way. (Sr. Marian Herrera, SSpS Bible Diary 2004)


“We do not need preachers. We need witnesses.” Preachers, we have so many. Witnesses, why so few? In order to know the spirituality of heaven, God needs medium by which he can transmit His universal Light. People are His mediums. But most of us are unwilling co-operators and runaway prophets. The reason is simply because life as a witness becomes uncomfortable, demanding and unrewarding. To the world where god is matter, meat and money, the mere mention of God becomes blasphemous. It takes courage to stand up for him in these times. It might be easier to preach because most of the time, what we say comes from our cerebrum, while when we witness, what we do must be first blossom from within us, otherwise, there is no fruit for others to taste. Then it is true to say, “The eye with which I say God is the eye with which God sees me” and hopefully, the eye with which others also see me. We then become sacred signs. we become the light through which others can see, the door through which others can pass safely.

St. Francis of Assisi was the one who said, “Preach by example. Speak if necessary.” If love is present in our action as oxygen is to the blood, then whatever is not visible for human applause can also be a witnessing. Only the angels know. The most important thing is to forget ourselves and drop all self-consciousness. Forget that you are witnessing. Just remember that you are loving and all the rest will be given to you besides.

A story goes that an Indian bandit robbed a house and among other things stole a small black book with thin pages. “Just right for making cigarettes,” he thought. Everytime he would tear a page from it and roll it into cigarettes, he would first read a page. Without knowing it, he was reading a Bible. Before long, he went down on his knees and asked Jesus to forgive him. He gave himself over to the police and began to witness to Jesus in prison. (SSpSAP Bible Dairy 2005)


In the olden days it was the custom of religious communities to eat only bread and water for the six days of the Holy Week. A story has it that on the Tuesday of the week, some pilgrims who had walked a long distance, came to have a talk with the spiritual leader of a monastery. When he saw how hungry they were, he prepared a modest meal for them. Some of the younger members saw him in the kitchen cooking and they were scandalized. They complained to the rector of the monastery and said: “Father Director has broken the rule of the community; he’s cooking food. You better have a talk with him.” But the rector smiled at them and answered: “Dear friends, Father Director did, indeed, break the commandment that was made by our community but in showing hospitality to strangers, he has firmly kept the commandment of God.”

Laws are created to instil order within a community or society in general. In today’s gospel, Jesus talks about the law. He knows its importance that is why He stresses that He did not come to abolish but to fulfil it. The subsequent verses illustrate how Jesus brings the law to its fulfilment. He takes human laws and brings them to a wider, deeper moral plane, e.g. “It is said, you will not commit murder….but I tell you, whoever is angry at this brother will be brought to trial.” “It was said, love your friends, hate your enemies but I tell you love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you.”

Christ encourages us to go the extra mile, to go beyond what is expected by convention, but not to go against it. (Fr. Alan Bondoc, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


A young priest was guilt-ridden when he failed to give anointing of the sick to a bedridden woman in a mission hospital. He was the one in fact who made it possible for the woman to get confined in the hospital, visited her periodically, and even brought her food since her relatives lived far away. She died without anointing – the most important thing on earth he failed to deliver to the woman. “That’s what you think?” said the nun in charge, “God’s mercy and forgiveness is far greater than our sacraments.” Comforting words, indeed. The priest felt only not comforted but also challenged to become to become a better instrument of God’s mercy and forgiveness especially in the administration of sacraments, they being God’s gifts to believers. Sincere human failure in the fulfilment of sacramental duties should not be a cause of guilt but rather an occasion for faith in the workings of God in people’s lives.

The letter of the law facilitates order and keeps the peace. But it is the spirit of the law that makes it life-giving. The letter should point to the Divine lawgiver who dispenses justice tempered by love, understanding and mercy. “….I did not come to abolish the law or the prophets…until all things have taken place,” says Jesus in today’s Gospel. St. Paul proclaims that with Christ, believers are enabled “to be ministers of a new covenant no longer depending on a written law but on the Spirit.” (Bible Diary 2007)


Once I visited a barrio. A young mother carrying her baby girl approached me, asking for a blessing. She told her baby who was just learning to speak, to take my hand. While the baby held my hand the mother kept repeating, “Mano po, Father” for her baby to learn to say the words. Their continuous effort at learning the phrase paid off at last. She was able to say it well.

Like the way the patient young mother taught her child, God teaches us morality and character, step by step, pautay-utay. Law can be overwhelming – God’s laws, church laws,social laws, and many more. Laws guide us to form good habits. Good habits are harded to form than bad ones. But we have to keep trying even when we keep failing. Discouragement must never rule over us. This is how salvation works – we try and fail and Jesus steps in and perfects our efforts. (Fr. Jiggs Orcino, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


June 8, 2016 Wednesday

A Filipino, who lived in Germany for many years, told me about his recent vacation in the Philippines: “It is not fair to compare, but we can learn many things from the Germans. For example, following traffic rules. A German driver stops and waits before the red light, even if there are no other cars crossing the intersection. A Filipino will most likely look around and cross the street, when he sees there are no cars around. If nobody is watching, he can do what he pleases. It is a small symptom of how big the challenge of governance our country faces. If nobody can follow a simple rule, how can you expect them to follow the bigger and complicated ones?”

Jesus is not abolishing the law, but fulfilling it (Mt 5:17). For him, small laws are as important as the big ones (Mt 5:19). He doesn’t consider himself above the law. Although Jesus is not talking about civil but religious laws, his attitude towards laws is unmistakable: respect legitimate laws, which serve as valid and reliable guides for human actions. Man-made laws are not necessarily

God’s laws, but obedience to both of them reflects our respect towards authorities. It is like how we honor our parents, whom we see, reflects how we honor God, whom we do not see. It is tempting to abolish a rule, which doesn’t t our wishes and challenges our sinful conduct. We delude ourselves thinking the rules don’t apply to us. It is a question of faithfulness in small and big things. Let us be careful not to relativize and trivialize God’s laws, be it small or big. We might miss its tested wisdom and worth. (Fr. Simon Boiser, SVD Hamburg, Germany Bible Diary 2016)


June 13, 2012

St. Anthony of Padua, priest and doctor

1 Kgs 18:20-39
Ps 16
Mt 5:17-19

Teaching about the Law

[Jesus said to his disciples,] 17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”


Not to abolish but to fulfill. Jesus says that he has come to fulfill the law or the prophets. He has come to bring out their real meaning. He observes and lives what the law and the prophets demand. Jesus is not creating a new law or giving new guidelines and regulations. He is bringing out the true spirit or essence of God’s commandments.

We sometimes have our own personal and self-serving interpretations of God’s Word and commandments. We often explain and quote God’s Word and commandments to justify our misguided ideas or find excuses for our wrongdoings. Hence, Jesus needs to remind us of the real meaning of the commandments.

Jesus situates this meaning in love. God’s Word and commandments are given because of love. Whatever God says or does is out of love. Thus, the law and the prophets can be summarized in one word—love. If we love God, we do not take the Lord’s name in vain. If we love God, we keep holy the Lord’s day. Because of love, we respect our parents, other people, and their property. Because of love, we do not destroy life or other people’s good name.

This is the love that Jesus comes to fulfill. This is God’s love that Jesus comes to reveal. The way to God is love, and loving God is keeping God’s Word and commandments.

Find out whether you still know by heart God’s Ten Commandments 
and the commandments of the Church.
Which do you find most difficult to keep?


Teaching about the Law

Mt 5:17-19

[Jesus said to his disciples,] 17“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”


I have come to fulfill. Jesus has come not to abolish the law or the prophets but to fulfill them. Indeed, he is their fulfillment. Jesus fulfills the law and the prophets in a way that the fruit fulfills the flower; he brings the law and the prophets to their perfection and achieves their purpose. He observes the Sabbath, but he makes clear that the Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath. He knows the commandments, but he also teaches that the law and the prophets are summed up in the command to love God with all our mind, with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength, and the command to love our neighbor as ourselves.

In thus fulfilling the law and the prophets, Jesus teaches us to be obedient and free. As the apostle Paul will later write, “Love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom 13:10).

 Obey the commandments

and teach others to keep them,

and you will be great in God’s kingdom.


Wednesday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time (Year B) Mateo 5:17-19. Unsa may papel sa balaod diha sa atong kinabuhi? Si Cristo nagtahod sa mga balaod ug andam siya nga mosunod niini subay sa ilang espirito ug katuyoan. Sa atong katilingban ug Simbahan karon adunay mga balaod nga gipahiluna alang sa kaayohan sa tanan. Isip mga sakop kita adunay obligasyon sa pagsunod niini. Ang pagtuman sa mga balaod maoy usa ka pagpakita sa atong gugma sa Ginoo ug sa isigkatawo. Apan, aduna bay panahon nga dili nato angay’ng sundon ang balaod? Kon ang balaod dili magsilbi sa kaayohan sa tawo, o kon kini dili makataronganon, dili kini angay’ng sundon. Kini ang nagpaluyo sa giingon ni Cristo, “Ang balaod gihimo para sa tawo, dili ang tawo para sa balaod.” (Fr. Abet Uy)


WEDNESDAY OF THE 10TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – MATEO 5:17-19. UNSAON MAN NATO PAGTAGAD ANG MGA BALAOD? Si Kristo nagtahod sa mga balaod ug andam siya nga mosunod niini subay sa ilang espiritu. Sa atong katilingban ug Simbahan karon adunay mga balaod nga gipahiluna alang sa kaayohan sa tanan. Isip mga sakop, kita adunay obligasyon sa pagsunod niini kutob sa atong mahimo. Ang pagtuman sa mga balaod, bisan sa pinakagamay niini, maoy usa ka pagpakita sa atong gugma sa Ginoo ug sa isigkatawo. Gani, ang ebanghelyo nag-awhag kanato dili lamang sa pagsunod sa balaod kondili sa pagtudlo usab niini ngadto sa uban. Ang maghimo niini, matod ni Kristo, “pagatawgon nga dako sa gingharian sa langit.” Sa pagtudlo, hinumduman nato ang giingon ni W.A. Ward: “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”Posted by Abet Uy


Cancelling or Fulfilling – Emptiness or Plenitude

June 10, 2015 (readings)

Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

Father Shawn Aaron, LC

Matthew 5:17-19

Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 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.

Introductory Prayer: Father of love, source of all blessings, you have led me throughout my life, and you lead me still. Thank you for your paternal care. Jesus, Son of God, you died for me on the cross to pay for my sins and manifest your unconditional love for me. Thank you for showing me the way home to the Father. Holy Spirit, sweet guest of the soul, you heal me and strengthen me and set me on fire from the most intimate depths of my soul. Thank you for your loving presence within me.

Petition: Jesus, help me to live authentic freedom in union with your will.

  1. Bringing to All Fulfillment:Through the law and the prophets God prepared his people for salvation. In Christ that salvation is at hand: Jesus, the Word made flesh, will fulfill the law and the prophets and give them their proper interpretation. The law will move from the tablets of stone to the hearts of men, as demonstrated by the Beatitudes. Jesus came especially to fulfill the deep longing in the human heart for happiness, which is ultimately found in eternal life with God. “But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4-5).
  2. Breaking the Rules:“Rules are meant to be broken” – according to the first law of the “Teenage Creed.” As we approach adulthood we may discover external conflicts to our subjective happiness. We call them rules. And as the desire to exercise our own free will grows, we begin to feel the seemingly oppressive weight of these rules – “Do this, don’t do that.” Authority figures can then be perceived to be in direct opposition to our personal fulfillment. We wrongly conclude that rules and happiness are like oil and water. Then we permit patterns of sin to develop despite what our conscience tells us, and we are unwittingly given a glimpse into the way the devil suggests his criteria to us. If we are not careful, we may form deep-seated attitudes that will make us struggle against God and against his criteria – the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the cross, and the teachings of the Church.
  3. The Proper Use of Freedom:  “The moral law has its origin in God and always finds its source in him” (Pope Saint John Paul II, The Splendor of Truth, no. 40). Our true freedom lies not in the rejection but in the acceptance of God’s moral law. God is not a heartless dictator but a Father who loves us and wills our very best. If he sets standards for us, it is because he has our eternal happiness in mind, like a skilled coach who challenges the athlete to reach his full potential. “Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake?” (Matthew 7:9-10). Jesus posits the question because he knows the Father. Even if we were to know a parent that did not love his child, God the Father is incapable of not desiring what is truly best for us. God is and will always be love.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, sin is always tapping on my door but you have promised me that your grace will always be available. Help me to avail myself of the means of grace you give me to live in union with your eternal law. Mother Most Pure, make my heart only for Jesus.

Resolution: Today I will take a few moments to reflect upon the Ten Commandments or the duties of my state in life.


STRIVE FOR VIRTUE – “Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 5:19

One of the most interesting conversations that I ever had with a close friend was a debate about the Ten Commandments. She scolded me for saying the Lord’s name in vain and told me that if I didn’t stop it, I would never make it to heaven. In my defense, I explained that other people violated worse commandments than I did all the time. They commit adultery, steal, kill and lie. So I felt that taking the Lord’s name in vain was a minor offense. Surely God wouldn’t turn me away for such a small infraction when there were others who had disobeyed the gravest of His demands.

She then said something so sensible that I will never forget. “God didn’t list those commandments so that you can pick and choose which ones you have or don’t have to follow. He never categorized them into minor or major offenses. The point of those commandments is to follow every single one. Those are His laws and none are made to be broken.”

I lost the debate that day but I gained an important insight about my personal values — to see my flaws as inexcusable and to strive for a virtuous life in every way. Eleanore Teo (

Reflection: What bad habits do you need to eradicate in your life?

Lord, guide me as I stop accepting my shortcomings carelessly and start cooperating with Your grace to become a better person.


A NEVER-ENDING TASK – The foundress of the Assumption Sisters, St. Marie Eugenie, once said, “We bring our lives as stones to be placed on top of others’ stones to continue building the story of faith.” Her words are prophetic and they echo Jesus’ words today: “I have come not to abolish… But to fulfill…”

The task of fulfilling God’s designs in the world and of building the Kingdom of God amidst humanity started with the patriarchs, the prophets, the kings and the priests. Jesus and the early Church brought a definitive character to this divine plan. But we continue to realize Jesus’ mission through our lives until the “new heaven and new earth” arrives according to God’s Plan (cf. Revelations 21:1-2).

I regard the colorful and interesting history of the ministries of the modern popes in this light. Pope Leo XIII began to bridge the gap between the Gospel and new social realities with his initiatives about the social teachings of the Church. St. John XXIII, though elected in old age, brought renewal to the Church and the Gospel message by convening Vatican Council II. Pope Paul VI oversaw the conclusion and application of the renewal called for by Vatican Council II. He also brought the Christian faith closer to many nations by being the first pope to visit nations. Theshort papacy of the smiling Pope John Paul I brought the Gospel closer to the hearts of many by his spontaneous ways. St. John Paul II showed how the Gospel and the Church can be a strong persuasive force to tear down godless and oppressive ideologies and political systems. Pope Benedict XVI began to relate the Gospel values to post-modern times, and he showed how the papacy can continue to be a radical witness to the Gospel value of authority as truly a service. Pope Francis is now making the Church see how the Gospel values of simplicity and love of the poor are very much alive and applicable even in high places. Fr. Domie Guzman, SSP

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What are you doing to continue Jesus’ mission of fulfilling God’s plan of salvation? How can your life be a “living stone?” How do you want to be known in line with your life contribution to the work of building the Faith and the Church? Let me be another stone, O Lord, that will build the Kingdom that has no end.


One Bread, One Body – Reflection for June 10, 2015


“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law and the Prophets.” –Matthew 5:17

When the Bible speaks of “the Law and the Prophets,” it refers to the Old Testament. Peter preached from the Old Testament on the day of Pentecost, and three thousand people received the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:17, 25, 34). “The ministry of the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:8) began by the preaching of the ministry of the law.

Jesus’ Transfiguration featured the Law, represented by Moses, and the Prophets, represented by Elijah (Lk 9:30). When Jesus was transfigured into a greater glory (Lk 9:29ff), He didn’t just bypass the old covenant, He fulfilled it (Mt 5:17). Thus the presence of Moses and Elijah at His Transfiguration shows the Old Testament has a place in the New Testament’s ministry of the Spirit.

On Easter evening, Jesus changed the hearts of His two disciples on the road to Emmaus by opening the Scriptures to them, which at that point consisted of only the Old Testament. Jesus began with “Moses and all the prophets” and “interpreted for them every passage of Scripture which referred to Him” (Lk 24:27).

Jesus declared that the Old Testament is more capable of effecting change on a hard heart than would be the sight of a man risen from the dead! (Lk 16:31) Read the Old Testament. Then teach the Old Testament to a hard-hearted world (Mt 5:19).

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, show me how the Old Testament is fulfilled in the New, and how the New Testament is revealed by the Old.

PROMISE: “This great confidence in God is ours, through Christ.” –2 Cor 3:4

PRAISE: Ben was abused and beaten as a child. Now, Ben praises Jesus for giving him the strength to be a loving, gentle father to his own children.


June 10, 2015

Wednesday of the 10th Week in the Ordinary Time B

Jesus the Fulfilment of the Law and Prophets

“One who obeys and teaches others to do the same shall be great in heaven”, Says the Lord. People were happy to maintain a thought that Jesus was there to ‘change everything.’ In a way the ordinary people were struggling and fed of the torments of the powerful. For them Jesus became the ‘voice of the voiceless’. Thus they had great hope and consolation in Jesus’ words and actions. But our Lord is quite sure of his call and mission; for he is not here to abolish everything that is old, but to renew them all for the salvation of all irrespective of caste, creed and colour.

The teachings of the Lord are crystal clear here that the salvation is attainable within the Law of Moses. Many of us think that the present law and order are becoming hindrances of progress and development. But actually they are all set up for the smooth conduct of living in this world. If we want to change and alter everything, what shall be the shape of the world? Laws, rules, regulations are all means of attaining the perfection that is desired and envisaged by the Divine Himself.

Let’s pray with the Lord that the laws of this world may be guidelines for us to reach the Kingdome. Amen! Fr Biju Tharaniyil CMI


Reflection for June 10, Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 5:17-19

Reflection: What is life without Jesus? It’s barren, chaotic and problematic. What is life without laws? It’s the same  as well.  Jesus comes into our lives to make it meaningful and productive. Not meaningful and productive in the eyes of this world but meaningful and productive in His eyes.

When we break the law we can also expect a consequence or even consequences. It may not be felt immediately but as others would say the long arm of the law will eventually catch up with us once we break it. When we break the law we also distance ourselves from the love of Jesus.

For example if you’re a politician and you show in your public image that you’re a follower of Jesus. You will not break the law by stealing money from the coffers of the government otherwise you are only using Jesus to serve your own hidden agenda. Same goes for a spouse who professes to follow Jesus. He/she should not break the law by coveting someone other than his/her spouse. Both of these acts of transgressions momentarily distance us from the love of Jesus.

There’s always a reward that awaits those who follow Jesus and the laws that He created. There’s always a reward that awaits those who follow Jesus and the laws crafted by a government to create order and to serve the interest of its citizenry. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Wednesday of the 10th Week of the Year

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