March 7, 2018 – Wednesday in the 3rd Week of Lent

 

Saints for the day: Perpetua & Felicity (did: 203)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Deuteronomy 4:1, 5-9 – Psalm 147 – Matthew 5:17-19

“Not one jot or tittle shall be removed from the Law until it is accomplished.”

 For the Jews at the time of Jesus “the Law” was all there was. And the S & P’s expended all of their energy making sure that the above passage was not overlooked. Yet Jesus says, “… until it is accomplished.”   Laws and regulations are not bad ideas. They keep a certain order to our lives and many of the Old Testament laws were very practical: all the things about dietary regulations and health issues were important to the Jews as they wandered on their way to the promised land. When Jesus was criticized for eating with tax collectors and sinners he told them, “it is not the healthy who need a doctor but those who are sick.” All throughout His public life Jesus broke the laws that the Jews held as absolute. He, himself said, “until all is accomplished!”

Any laws are enacted in order to free people to live a more productive and alive life. As soon as Jesus began His public ministry He began to show that He was “the Way.” He is “the truth.” He is “the Life.” He was the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. From the Cross Jesus announced the completion of His life when he said, “It is all accomplished!” All 613 laws – intended to guide us to the awareness that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him might not die but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

So, “all is accomplished!” Does that mean that we no longer have to follow any laws? Certainly not. But we do have to remember that just following laws for the sake of following them will never get us to the Kingdom. Laws and regulations are a means to an end. Not an end in themselves. Jesus is the means and the end, all wrapped together. If we try to separate that we will lose what Jesus was offering us: “Come to me (yes, come to the Cross) and I will give you rest.” But so many of us say, “take me, Jesus, but let’s bypass the Cross and go straight into the Kingdom.” No way! Sorry. All the law and the prophets is summed up at the Cross where we encounter Jesus who gave His life for our salvation. “… it is accomplished!”

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