First Reading: 2Cor 3:4-11; Psalm: 99. R. 9c; Gospel: Mt 5:17-19



The Greatest Commandment - Catholic Daily Reflections

Just as St Paul alluded in the first reading, the old covenant was a written document unlike the new covenant which the Spirit has imprinted in our hearts. Moses always read the book of the covenant to the hearing of the people which they were obliged to obey. This written covenant can fizzle away and obedience to it was basically for the sake of keeping the law. But the new covenant was imprinted in our hearts by Christ himself through the Spirit. It can never fade away. Christ by word and example emblazoned the love of God and neighbour in our hearts. Obedience to this commandment of love imprinted in our hearts is the mark of every true Christian.

Jesus therefore did not come to abolish the law and the prophets but to fulfil them. The Ten Commandments which was given by God through Moses was interpreted into petty laws and rules by the Scribes and Pharisees which became burdensome on the people and devoid of love. But love was the summary of the whole Commandments. This great omission was what Jesus came to establish because we can actually keep all the commandments and still hate our neighbour deep in our hearts. This is obedience to the commandment for the sake of the commandment. But Jesus came to teach and to give us the Spirit who will help us to love.

Jesus did not come to do away with the old covenant but to bringing what was absent in the keeping of this covenant – the love of God and neighbour. This summary of the commandment should be a lived experience. Are we observing the commandments solely for the sake of keeping it? We know we may not kill our neighbour physically but we can wish they were dead. We may be generous but wished we never gave that item out. We may not covet our neighbours’ wife but wished our neighbour never had that wife. This is keeping the commandment for the sake of the commandment. This was what Jesus came to abolish so that beyond keeping the law, the love of God and neighbour would reign in our hearts.


Lord God, help us by your grace to love sincerely from our hearts so that we may build a community where God’s love will reign. Amen.


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