Sunday 12 February 2023
Mt 5:17-37

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgement. You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ But I say to you, Do not swear at all.”
(Mt 5:17,20-22a,27-28,33-34a)

Jesus explains that He has come to bring something new regarding the Law which the Jewish people received through Moses on Mount Sinai. He hadn’t come to abolish it, but to bring it to fulfilment, in line with the history of Israel. Jesus gives us some examples of this, highlighting the contrast: “you have heard it said… but I say to you”. This law that He fulfils falls in our hearts on the day of Pentecost, on Mount Sion in Jerusalem. It is a law that demands much more in respect to that of the Old Testament! In fact, the Lord now also judges our intentions and asks of us things that seem humanly impossible. But, we can do them with strength from the presence of the Holy Spirit in us! This law, written in our hearts, no longer responds to an external obligation, but to an internal imperative, an imperative of Love. Jesus exemplifies this for us when on the cross he stretches out his arms for us, in His act of total surrender.

Let’s allow the Spirit to work in us, giving us strength and courage so that we are always growing into the image of the Son in order to be God’s children in the image of our Father.

Fr. Giuseppe