Wednesday, 7 March 2018

I have come not to abolish the Law

Wednesday of week 3 of Lent

The way of Christ is the way of obedience. Jesus was obedient to His Father always. Today we are reluctant to obey unreservedly. Somehow it seems a backward or unsophisticated thing to do. Modern man is surely much more subtle and learned to not need to obey like that? So instead of obeying freely we reserve the right to question everything and decide whether to obey or not – and we do this even with God! We have made ourselves the masters and we do not like the idea of making someone else our master.

The way of Christ is obedience even when it means suffering. The way of Christ means saying with Our Lady, “Be it done unto me according to thy word.” The way of Christ is obedience because it is obedience to an entirely trustworthy Person – God the Father. God the Father can always be trusted. Does a father give his son a stone when he asks for bread? If our Heavenly Father allows us to suffer we can be sure there is a very good reason for it and the outcome will be good for us.

Christ Jesus came not to abolish the Jewish Law. He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets in His very self. When He died sacrificially on the cross He fulfilled and completed all the laws of ritual and sacrifice. In the New Covenant all ritual and sacrifice is focused on the Cross. The moral law of the Old Testament was not abolished but deepened. Not only was the moral law still to be obeyed in the New Covenant but it was located on a deeper and more demanding level – the level of the heart. We are to still obey the Ten Commandments but now at a much deeper and demanding level.

So are we willing to obey God the Father as Christ Jesus did? Do we trust the Heavenly Father? This was at the heart of the first sin, and thus at the heart of all sin – do I trust God the Father, or does He have a secret agenda against me? The serpent tempted Eve to believe the latter. Our Lady believed the former. She trusted and obeyed.

Fr Ian

DAY NINE (Eve of Pentecost)