Mt 5, 17-19
Jesus ascends a mountain and gathers his disciples to teach them, according to Matthew’s gospel, chapters 5-7. Moses before him brought God’s word to the Israelites from a high mountain. Now, Jesus teaches as the New Moses. He does not abolish what the great patriarch taught; he brings it to fulfillment.
Lent gathers us again to listen to the Sermon on the Mount. Sublime promises of a Kingdom are made to us; our God is gracious and near. But this part of the gospel reminds us of little things, the small steps, the “least commandments,” we must keep to enter the Kingdom of heaven.
This is a season–our reading reminds us– for remembering that small things like a cup of cold water, a visit to the sick, feeding someone hungry, clothing someone naked, speaking a “word to the weary to rouse them” are important commandments of God.
Yes, lent calls us to think great thoughts and embrace great visions of faith, But the law of God often comes down to small things, and the greatest in the kingdom of God are the best at that.
“The most important things for you are: humility of heart, patience, meekness, charity toward all, and seeing in your neighbor an image of God and loving him in God and for God.” ( Letter 1114)
What small step do you want me to take today, O Lord?
What can I do to help the neighbor I meet,
Who is made in your image?