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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

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Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9
Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
Matthew 5:17-19

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jesus' impossible demands

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets." —Matthew 5:17

In the Old Testament, the Lord told us to obey 612 commandments. In the New Testament, Jesus did not abolish even the smallest part of any of the letters of these commandments (Mt 5:18). In fact, Jesus added several hundred other commandments which we are now responsible to obey. Moreover, we must obey both the letter of these commandments and their spirit (2 Cor 3:6). We must obey not only because of fear, but also because of love.

There is no way we can obey all these commands in the spirit which Jesus expects. We would have to be a new person to meet Jesus' standards. Only God can do what Jesus expects. Therefore, God became a human being. He died and rose to give us a new nature and make us new creations (see 2 Cor 5:17). He lives within us and gives us His divine power.

Only because of this, we can obey and fulfill all the commands of both the Old and New Testaments. Only in Christ is there no condemnation (see Rm 8:1). Only in Christ are His commandments not burdensome (1 Jn 5:3). Only in Christ is found obedience and fulfillment.

Prayer:  Father, may I repent, go to Confession, and receive the Holy Spirit deeply. Give me the grace to obey, do, and live the impossible.

Promise:  "He has blessed your children within you." —Ps 147:13

Praise:  Once Marsha thought she needed to be holy to pray; now she prays to be holier.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Am I Going to Heaven? on audio AV 54-3 or video V-54.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July27, 2010

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