Jesus said to his disciples: "Do not think that
I have come to abolish the law or the
prophets. I have come not to abolish but to
fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth
pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest
part of a letter will pass from the law, until
all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one
of the least of these commandments and teaches others
to do so will be called least in the kingdom
of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Introductory Prayer: Lord, as I journey through Lent
I have a great desire to be close to you.
I know that I am your creature and that
I owe you all glory and homage. I want to
glorify you by following your teaching. I need you
to help me see clearly the truth of your
teaching and to love you in return. Here I am
Lord, hungry for you alone. I know that you
will not turn me away empty-handed.
teach me what it means to fulfill the law.
Spirit Fulfills the Mere Letter: We can speak of
fulfilling the law in two ways: by doing everything
that is asked or by completing that which is missing.
Jesus completes the law of the Old Testament with
the new law of love – to love one
another as he has loved us. Jesus fulfills the law
not by simply fulfilling each of the many precepts,
but by showing where all of the precepts have their
end: in loving God above all things. When we
obey the law of love we are fulfilling all
of the laws – we are bringing them to their
2. The All-Encompassing New Law: The law of
love reaches to the ends of the earth. There is
no created being in the universe that is outside
the law of love that Jesus has come to
teach us. There is no being, not even the smallest,
that escapes the demand of this law. When Jesus
uses the metaphor, “the smallest letter or the smallest
part of a letter,” he is showing us the completeness
of this law. Love and its demands reach to
the farthest ends of the universe, to the smallest
created being, and to the end of time. Am I
convinced in my heart and in my actions that
the law of love asks me to love all people
– not just my family, friends and those who
rub me the right way?
3. Seeking Perfection: The
commandments of the old law as exemplified in the Ten
Commandments (e.g. Thou shall not kill; Thou shall not
commit adultery; etc.) are grave transgressions but easy to
define, referring as they do to external actions. Christ’s commandments
(e.g. to not show anger; to not lust in
the heart; to forgive our enemies; etc.) have more subtle
expressions, and because of this often times they are
more difficult to obey. Living these commandments with the
proper motivation and a considerate, dedicated attitude is what
makes a person great. Having love as the motivation
of all of our actions not only helps us make
it to heaven, but also will win us a
greater share in God’s happiness and glory there.
Conversation with Christ: Thank you, Lord, for this time
of prayer. Do not let me be content simply to
do the minimum that my faith asks of me.
Do not let me be content simply with avoiding
grave sin. Help me to live the fullness of the
law of charity. I want this Lent to be
a time of growth in love.
I am obeying the laws of the Church I
will stop to reflect how they fit into the
greater law of love.