Wednesday of the Third Week of Lent

Jesus tells us in today’s Gospel reading, ““Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” What does that mean?

The Ten Commandments are invaluable and divinely revealed. Following the Ten Commandments is a proper moral response to God. They are largely a set of prohibitions that keep us from straying from a moral path.

But, where does that path lead? Where are we really headed?

Our final end is entering into the joy of the Lord. To see God face to face.

Jesus becomes the fulfillment of the Old Law with the New Covenant established by God in Jesus. He becomes our destination in the journey that is this life. The Ten Commandments become aids to us on that journey. Following the Commandments means not running our car into the ditch on our life’s journey. But, they are not the destination for the journey.

Jesus gives us a New Covenant that is a law of love, grace, and freedom. Not a freedom to do anything, but a freedom to do the right thing. A freedom for excellence. A freedom from sin.

How Jesus fulfills the Old Law is seen in the Greatest Commandment. This focus on love of God and neighbor is the positive focus that can lead us further than a negative focus on prohibitions. Especially as revealed in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gives us an interior law of charity that is focused on what is in our hearts rather than an exterior law focused on our actions.

Are we open to our participation in this New Covenant? Are we open to the grace that helps us to live it? Are we attentive to the things of our heart? Or, do we only pay attention to the quality of our exterior actions? Do we allow ourselves to participate in this law of love? To receive God’s love? To reflect that love to others?