I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 

When a man and a woman come together in marriage, two things happen at the same time. First, the man “leaves his father and his mother and clings to his wife.” And second, “the two of them become one body” (Genesis 2:24). This twofold act of leaving behind something good for the sake of something even better is one way to understand Jesus’ words about the Law of Moses in today’s Gospel (Matthew 5:17-19).

Every husband and wife bring their past experiences with them into their marriage, and together they take who they were and what they have learned and create something unique out of it: a new family. They don’t abolish their past or the people they once were. They take what was good from it and leave behind what no longer works. Everything they have learned finds its fulfillment in the life they forge together. Over time, they raise their children to live out this new life they have created.

Similarly, when Jesus became a man, he united himself to our humanity in an intense and intimate way. And by doing so, he took all that his people, Israel, had learned and all they had become and created something new out of it: the family of the Church. By offering himself on the cross, he fulfilled the heart of the commandment to love God and neighbor even as he made it possible for us to do the same. And by giving us the sacraments of Baptism and the Eucharist, he transformed the traditions of animal sacrifice and circumcision. The result? Children of God who shine his light to the entire world.

In the Gospel readings over the next few days, Jesus will be laying out what he wants life in his new family to look like: reconciliation between brothers and sisters, turning the other cheek, purity in marriage, and love for our enemies. All of this can sound intimidating at first. But always remember: you are part of a new family. You are a “new creation” in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17)! That means you are an heir to all the grace you need to live the life Jesus has called you to. So how will you fulfill the purpose and intentions of God’s laws today?

“Thank you, Lord, for making me a new creation and bringing me into your family!”

2 Corinthians 3:4-11
Psalm 99:5-9
Matthew 5:17-19


Subscribe To Father Maurice's Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, inspirational blogs, and updates from Father Maurice

You have Successfully Subscribed!