I have always loved the simplicity often found in the Gospels. Jesus aids us in understanding what are sometimes abstract ideas by translating them into more accessible metaphors, themes, and stories. In today’s Gospel, Jesus reveals his purpose during his Sermon on the Mount—that he is not here to abolish, but to fulfill, the law or the prophets (Mt 5:17).
I am by no means an expert on scripture, let alone the laws of the Old Testament. Despite growing up in Catholic schools and working in Catholic settings, I relied on the expertise I found through theology teachers and professors to support me in interpreting ancient scripture. There was, however, always a commandment that stood out given this simplicity. When asked the greatest commandment, Jesus replies that “you shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind and that you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Then, Jesus makes an important connection to what we read in today’s passage—that the whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments (Mt 22:36-40).
There are myriad ways to express and share our faith. Focusing on the commandments is certainly one, but to me the Body of Christ is about being in right relationship with one another and one’s community. For me, my work in supporting underserved students in accessing education and career opportunities reminds me of this connectedness. The privilege of witnessing students’ growth through equitable resources is my own small special way of building the Body of Christ amidst the chaos of our ever changing world. This Lent, I pray that you and I can use this season of renewal to consider how we reflect on the laws of our faith in service to others, and recognize that sharing in community is as simple as it gets.
- In what simple ways do you witness the Body of Christ being built in your own community, through acts that fulfill the two greatest commandments?
- How are you called to contribute to or deepen this work in your own life?
Yasi Mahallaty (she/her) is a graduate of the University of San Diego, Fordham University, and Georgetown University. She began her career as a full-time volunteer with the wonderful students and staff at Cristo Rey New York High School. Her current work at CareerSpring focuses on empowering first-generation college graduates.