Fulfilling the Law in Our Hearts
Sometimes we think of the Old Testament as the time when God had all those rules and laws. We think that Jesus came and did away with all those silly rules and just told us to love everybody. Today’s gospel shows us that this is hardly the case. Jesus tells us plainly that he has come not to abolish even the smallest part of the law, but to fulfill it. Jesus takes several examples from the 10 commandments and seems to really raise the bar. In fact, what he is doing is showing us what the commandments were all about in the first place.
The Christian life cannot be simply about rules. It’s about what is in our hearts. Each of Jesus’ examples points beyond the law to look deeper within. When we look at what is in our hearts, what do we find? If we don’t like what’s there, we know we need to go to confession. Nothing that is in our heart will be able to remain there very long; it will come out some way. Jesus offers us not an abolishing of rules, but rather the freedom to live as God intended. St. Paul reminds us that the fulfillment of the law is love. Let’s hope that one day we can look into our hearts and there find only love. Then we will have fulfilled the law.