Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5, 17-19
In light of this reading, how can it be that the faithful followers of Jesus do not still follow all 613 of the Mosaic laws? I am pretty sure that the Canadian bacon on my breakfast sandwich was not in keeping with the Mosaic prohibition against pork. How can we reconcile the two?
The word “fulfill” can be defined in two ways: 1) as in filling a role, or 2) as in completing something. In the Gospel today, the word “fulfill” meets both of these definitions in the person of Jesus. Not only will he fulfill the role of the perfect sacrifice for our sins to satisfy the Law, but he completes the prophecies by healing the sick and forgiving our sins, and ultimately by rising from the dead. But this reading covers more than Jesus’ earthly life.
When Jesus comes to us in the Sacraments, he fulfills those things in us as well. Through our Baptism and Confirmation, we are called to become Jesus’ hands and feet in the world. As Christians, we are called to be “little Christs” – to become perfected as we grow closer to Jesus through frequent reception of the Eucharist. When we take Jesus into our bodies in Communion, we participate in that completion as he fills up all that is lacking in us and makes us fit to serve.
So, it’s true, the Law and the Prophets have not passed away. Jesus makes sure that they live on in us as we actively participate in the sacramental life of the church as members of his body. The challenge is to live that fulfillment through a life of love, sacrifice, and service as he did.
Lord Jesus, help me to be a part of the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. Show me how to love as you would love, how to sacrifice as you would sacrifice, and how to serve as you would serve. Amen.
How can I be Jesus’ hands and feet in the world today?
Copyright 2016 Katie O’Keefe
Katie O’Keefe, mother of two and Oma to two more, is a great fan of nifty new tools and dusty old books. Katie is a recent graduate of Ohio Dominican University with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and plans to pursue further study in that field.