What did Jesus mean?

On the second Sunday of Lent, we heard the gospel story of the Transfiguration where Peter, James and John saw Jesus talking to Moses and Elijah who represent the Law and the prophets. That is a perfect sign of what Jesus is saying in today's gospel from Matthew 5: 17-19. He says, ''I have not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to complete them.'' We can ask if Jesus came to perfect the laws, why were the Pharisees so often criticizing him for not observing the law? The answer is that Jesus distinguishes between the laws that come from God through Moses and the Prophets and those made up by people. He saw that many of the human-made laws were an imposition that prevented people from knowing the God of love and restricted the ways they could help each other. He took the laws of Moses as expressed in the Ten Commandments such as, ''You shall not kill,'' and perfected it by expressing it in positive terms as, ''You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, and the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.'' (Matthew 22: 37-40) Thank you, Lord, for your teaching. May we always keep our attention fixed on your teachings and not be distracted by human interpretations.
Don Hornsey

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