Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” (Mt 5:17)
One of the things that Jesus seemed to have encountered many times as he traveled and taught was the opinion from many in the crowds that, because Jesus was so special — perhaps even the long-awaited Messiah — He might just do away with all the rules as He established His new Kingdom.
They were sorely disappointed, though, when Jesus made it very clear that He had not come to abolish the law or the prophets at all. He came, as a matter of fact, to fulfill. Even more than fulfill, Jesus was there to perfect the law.
(Insert collective groan here)
You could well imagine the rumbles of the crowds when they realized that they were not going to “get a break”, that the rules still applied.
We often approach our faith and our relationship with the Lord in a similar vein.
I cannot begin to tell you how many times in the past people have told me, in one way, shape or form, “I think I deserve a break. After all, I’ve given so much of my life to the Lord.”
That kind of sentiment has come from long-time parishioner to long-time priest. We are all in the same boat together on that one!
The simple truth, however, is that Jesus constantly calls us to perfection. Part of that perfection demands that we embrace the law, not attempt to skirt around it.
FAITH ACTION: What “demand” of the faith have you been lax in doing? Has it been something as simple as dressing terribly inappropriately when coming to Mass (Honor the Lord, your God) or as extreme as hurting someone emotionally, physically, or spiritually? Do the best you can to make a list of what you need to do to “mend your ways” so that you can be closer to the Lord this day.