Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5:17-19
I have always loved the law. Growing up, my father was city attorney and later a judge. Several of my siblings have followed in his path. Except for my brother who is a priest, all of my siblings married lawyers. The law is in our blood, in a way.
When I hear talk of law and order, I get it, I appreciate it. It makes me think of people like Teresa Collett working long and often unnoticed hours drafting legislation to protect the unborn. It makes me think of the men and women police who came to our house late at night to get a warrant signed. Maybe they were trying to solve a terrible crime, or to prevent someone dangerous from roaming the city streets. They often put their own lives at risk to keep the rest of us safe.
The law makes demands, but good demands.
The rules of my household as a child were the same; my parents were reasonably strict and I had a healthy fear of disappointing them. It was abundantly clear that no monkey business would be tolerated. There were consequences for breaking the rules. But their only goal was to protect me, to keep me safe, and to bring me into flourishing.
God’s law is no different—only infinitely more capable of protecting me, body and soul, infinitely more capable of bringing me into the human flourishing for which I was created. God’s law makes demands too, but only so that I might thrive.
When Jesus says he comes, not to abolish but to fulfill the law, my heart leaps for joy. The laws of his kingdom mean that justice and mercy make perfect companions and human hearts are brought into an abundance of peace and freedom from all fear.
Do I prayer regularly for those who write and uphold the laws of our country, especially those fighting to protect the unborn, the marginalized, the poor? Do I pray for Church leadership?
Lord, your law brings life! Let me learn to love it more deeply and to live your law more fruitfully.
Copyright 2017 Elizabeth M. Kelly
Elizabeth M. Kelly is an award-winning speaker and author. She has written six books, including the forthcoming A Catholic Woman’s Worth: Finding, Healing and Flourishing the Feminine Heart in Christ (Loyola Press 2017). Trained in spiritual direction, she leads retreats with a special emphasis on helping women to flourish in their faith. You may visit her website at www.emkbooks.com.