What would it be like to be in the presence of Jesus and hear him speak? In today’s gospel, he talks about not abolishing the law, but that he was there to fulfill the law. If I were there, I probably would be confused about what he meant by that statement. Jesus goes on further and talks about other laws so familiar to me: you shall not kill, you shall not commit adultery, as well as giving bills of divorce and taking false oaths. Jesus takes each of these statements and goes one step further saying we should not act like the Pharisees. We should reconcile and love our brothers and sisters and settle our disagreements before someone else has to step in. He also spoke about watching what we say so that it doesn’t offend God or another person.
As I sat and let Jesus’ words wash over me, they were hard to hear because that was not how I learned these laws. But as I sat with them they made more sense. There was a new kind of freedom, a new way of thinking about the same old laws. I’m not sure how to put all of this into practice, but with time these new thoughts could become something deeper.
As we get closer to the season of Lent, are there ways that we can reconcile with a family member, neighbor, friend, or someone different from us to make our world a better place? Can we find ways of settling disagreements before they turn into hateful events? Can we see how Jesus has come to fulfill the law by seeking the good in all that God created?
Sister Rebecca Sullivan, CSFN