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Association of the Miraculous Medal
Gospel Reflection for February 12

Besides her great privilege of being the Mother of God, Mary was also her Son’s first disciple. She is often called the Model, or Exemplar of the Church. Following her example, we walk with her through the Gospels as we reflect on her response to God in her life.

February 12, 2017 —Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 5:17-37
 Father Oscar Lukefahr, C.M.

A few weeks ago, friends told me about a young couple who had two boys, Eric, age five, and Timmy, age two. Mom and Dad were expecting their third child, and told Eric he’d soon have a new brother. Eric broke into tears. They asked what was wrong. “I love Timmy,” he wailed, supposing they were going to trade Timmy for someone else!

Faithful Jews loved the Ten Commandments. Psalm 119: 47 says: “I find my delight in your commandments, because I love them.” The Jews of Jesus’ time didn’t have to fear that he would trade their commandments for new ones. In today’s Gospel, Jesus proclaims that he has come, not to abolish the law, but to fulfill and perfect it.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, `You shall not kill....’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” The sixth commandment forbids adultery, and lustful thoughts as well. The seventh commandment forbids bearing false witness, and Jesus expects his followers to be so honest that oaths become unnecessary.

Jesus urges us to keep the law in a way that truly fosters love. Laws are necessary, and we must strive to observe them because we love God with all our heart and our neighbor as ourselves.

Good parents love their children, and put no limits on generosity. They get up at night to calm a crying infant. They go far beyond what could be expected of hired help. They do this freely and joyfully because they love. Jesus invites us to keep the commandments freely and joyfully. This, he promises, will place us among those who are “greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Our Blessed Mother knew that Jesus was not trading God’s commandments for something different. She kept the commandments perfectly, and her great love of God and neighbor put no limits on what she gladly gave as the “handmaid of the Lord.” May we walk in her footsteps!
Read last week's reflection.