Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5, 17-19
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law of the Prophets. I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”
Jesus had just finished His famous Sermon on the Mount, describing in detail how he wants His disciples to go forward and teach the path to heaven through the Beatitudes. He wants to stress that this is not a new concept. Rather, Jesus came to enhance what was already part of their understanding handed down and taught from the prophets before. To not believe what they had understood for centuries would seem irreverent. So, Jesus felt he had to further stress his point by saying he did not come to “abolish laws”.
Jesus loved practicing the “law” laid down from Moses. He treasured it. He obeyed it. He did not want to disregard its core teachings. He did not want to suggest that this concept of being merciful, or being pure in heart, or being peacemakers, was contrary to the teachings taught for centuries by the Prophets handed down by Moses. He was simply trying to tell them he came to “fulfill” this law.
After all, Jesus’ birth, his life and death were all part of the prophecies long ago. He merely came to complete them. Jesus knew that by accomplishing His goals he would complete his purpose and fulfill the law. Understanding this was critical to Jesus because He wanted to focus the behavior of those who would follow Him to the “heart” of Him. Essentially, this was the foundation of being a follower of Jesus.
In our treatment of others, do we reflect the perfect love made clear by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount?
I pray today, Jesus, to always understand that You are the example of perfect love as handed down by the laws of Moses and the teachings of the Beatitudes. Give me strength to make choices that reflect this love who is You.
Copyright 2016 Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh
Catherine Mendenhall-Baugh (Cathy) completed her education in Special Education and English and now works as an Agent in the Insurance Industry. A mother and grandmother, Cathy grew up in a large Catholic family and has spent the last 30 years as a caregiver for her husband, Jack. She is a cancer survivor, which inspired her to begin writing six years ago.