In today’s Gospel reading Jesus said that he had not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to fulfill them. In other words, Jesus said that he had come to teach the true spirit of the Law and the Prophets. He went on to say, “not one letter, not one stroke of a letter would pass from the law until all is accomplished.”
Until all is accomplished. How are we to understand that? I think in saying that Jesus was referring to a time when the full spirit of the Law would be established.
When we look, for example, at the situation that presently exists in this country and in other parts of the world, I am afraid that the full spirit of the law still needs to be established in most parts of this world.
Most of the Eucharistic readings this week pick up on the theme set on Sunday; the Commandments and behavior related to those commandments.
Today that theme continues with Jesus saying that he has no intention of abolishing the Law or the Prophets, but of fulfilling them. Then Jesus went on to say, “I tell you … not one letter, not one stroke of a letter will pass from the law, until all is accomplished.” (Mt. 5:18)
We hear these striking words on Jesus’ lips, “I have come not to abolish but to fulfill the law,” which, I think is a core issue for the divisions within the Church, now and also since the very beginning. What can change and what must change if we are to “fulfill the law” that Jesus had in mind?