Do not think that I have come to annul the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to annul them but to fulfill them. I tell you this: as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in the Law will change until all is fulfilled.
So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them, and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the kingdom of heaven.
Teenagers who go through the rebellious stage of their development would sometimes test authorities by breaking laws. Not appreciating the role of laws in life and in society, they discover that there are consequences in doing so. Laws are necessary to human society. Without them, there can only be chaos and anarchy. In today’s gospel, Jesus is referring to the Mosaic law, as summarized in the Ten Commandments. These laws are valid at all times as they are part of the natural law, consisting of factors necessary for humans to live together in society with respect, justice and peace. Laws are intended to enhance life and their interpretation and observance are meant to be consistent with their spirit. However, a narrow interpretation of and rigid adherence to the laws can kill the spirit and will no longer promote life and right relationships. Jesus lives out the spirit of the law by personifying God’s love, the fulfillment of the law that enhances life. He is “the way, the truth, and the life,” the fullest expression of how we as humans are to respond to God’s love. As both the medium and the message, Jesus invites us to follow in his footsteps.
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