Wednesday, March 22
Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9, Matthew 5:17-19
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Matthew 5:17
by Bernadette O’Neill
Today’s readings in both the Hebrew and Greek Testament speak at length about laws, statutes, decrees, and commands. Many people mistakenly see these as antithetical to freedom, or as confining. However, if we pay attention to what the scriptures tell us, we see that careful observation of the law is actually a sign of intelligence and wisdom. Unlike some of the laws we encounter in our daily lives, the laws we are given by God are perfect and just. The laws and decrees of our God lead us to greater community, stronger love for one another, and to liberation that goes far beyond what we can do on our own. When Jesus tells us that he is the fulfillment of the law, we come to understand that the life of Jesus is the measure. Rather than concern ourselves with following the letter of the law, we should measure true obedience by the extent that we emulate the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ—the fulfillment of the law.
Do I see obedience to God as something compulsory or obligatory, or do I see it as an opportunity to grow in goodness? What parts of Jesus’s life do I need to better model in my own life?
Reflection originally published in “Reconciliation with Justice: Reflections for Lent 2017.”