“I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” — Matthew 5:17
Imagine being called upon to do something that seems overwhelming, if not downright impossible. It can be quite intimidating to ponder how — or even if — you will do it. But thanks be to God, when you actually got into the project, you found that it wasn’t so hard after all. In fact, it actually became simple! Sometimes, the Christian life is that way.
Jesus lived under the Mosaic law, with its rich layers of observances and rules. For even the most faithful Jew in first-century Palestine, fulfilling the letter of that law was difficult because it had grown complex over time. However, Jesus’ death and resurrection fulfilled the old law and inaugurated a new law of love that is much simpler. When an expert in the Mosaic code asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, he simply answered “Love” (Matthew 22:37-39). On another occasion he said: “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35). This is the new law of Jesus, the one law that we are asked to fulfill.
So if following Jesus is so simple, why does it seem so difficult? Really, it doesn’t have to be. We fulfill Jesus’ law of love every time we do an act of kindness in his name, offer a word of encouragement, or forgive someone for a wrong done against us. A young person fulfills the law when he offers to help an elderly person. A mom fulfills the law when she prays for her teenage daughter and her friends. An office worker fulfills the law when she takes the time to listen prayerfully to the concerns of a colleague. Every “little” thing that we do out of love for God and for our brothers and sisters has far more power than any “great” works we might do with little love.
Jesus taught us by example. By the example of our lives, we too can lead people to Christ. May we all strive to be temples of the living God, fulfilling Jesus’ law of love as we show honor and respect to everyone around us!
Pray: ...”Jesus I give you thanks and praise for your new law of love. Help me to be a simple witness to you through my acts of love and kindness”.
How many “little” things do you plan to do out of love today? Make it count!