Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9; Psalm 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20
3rd Week of Lent
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. (Matthew 5:17)
With his invention of the moving assembly line, Henry Ford revolutionized the manufacturing world. Productivity increased exponentially, and costs came down dramatically. But there was also one unfortunate consequence. With his focus narrowed to only one part of the car, the typical autoworker lost a degree of satisfaction and pride in his work. All he did was attach a door or install a steering wheel. No longer could he say that he built a car. He lost sight of the big picture.
Like these factory workers, some Jews in Jesus’ time had become so focused on individual rules and traditions in the Law of Moses that they lost sight of the big picture. As a result, they found it hard to recognize that Jesus himself was the fulfillment of the Law—that he was the Law of God incarnate!
You wouldn’t read a letter if the author of that letter were standing right in front of you. You wouldn’t read a user’s manual if the software developer were available to answer your questions. Similarly, here was Jesus, standing right in their midst, telling the people about his Father. By his words and deeds, he brought the Law to life. No longer just a series of writings, the Law was now a living reality that everyone could experience!
So how do you fulfill the Law? By meticulously keeping every stricture in the Bible? Not exactly. Scripture makes it clear that we fulfill God’s commandments through the Holy Spirit. It’s the Spirit who writes the Law on our hearts. It’s the Spirit who make us want to live according to God’s ways. It’s the Spirit who gives us the grace and power to overcome the pull of sin. And most important, it’s the Spirit—speaking to us through Scripture, our conscience, and the Church—who gives us a “big-picture” grasp of the Christian life.
Do you see why prayer is so important? As we quiet our hearts and fix our eyes on the Lord, we open ourselves to his Spirit. That’s when our lives begin to change. That’s when God writes his laws on our hearts!
“Come, Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the glory of the Lord. Teach me and empower me to follow your ways.” ~WAU