Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil (Matt 5:17).
What did Jesus mean by this?
He did not reject the laws of old taught by Moses, Abraham and the prophets, but demand of his followers a more perfect, more sincere, fulfilment of them. He brought it back to its basis to love.
We are to love God and love our neighbour. A new commandment given by Jesus, “To love one another as I have loved you”.
He did not want the people to follow the laws blindly but to pay attention and understand what the laws meant. If we were to follow blindly, we are no different from the scribes and the Pharisees.
In addition, Jesus teaches us to reconcile with those whom we have ill feelings with, before we bring our offerings to the altar. It is more important that our life and principles in our life should be integrated, so that people should be able to read our principles from our behaviour. This is more important than being able to instruct people in the law of God. It is harder to live one sermon than to preach a dozen. The moral value comes from the interior disposition of a person and not by exterior acts.
Avoiding murder is not enough. True Christian must remove any inclination to murder by building up true brotherly love for all men in his heart.
If there is no love in what we do, then, it is pointless. As St Paul says “If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all my possessions to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love, it profits me nothing.”
The heart of the Law was and is: “You shall love the Lord, your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest commandment. The second is like it. You shall love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39).
Just as our love for God is proven by our true love for our neighbours, so the last seven of the commandment impose on us obligations regarding our neighbours. By fulfilling these seven that we can fulfil the first three which govern our relations with God.
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation (Psalm 25:4-5).
How are we living our daily lives? Are we helping others for the sake of scoring brownie points or are we helping others because we want to?
With Praise & Thanks,
Geraldine & Jackie