The LAW OF LOVE
We can speak of fulfilling the law in two ways: by doing everything that is asked or by completing that which is missing. Jesus completes the law of the Old Testament with the new law of love: to love one another as He has loved us. Jesus fulfills the law not by simply fulfilling each of the many precepts, but by showing where all of the precepts have their end: in loving God above all things. In other words, when we obey the law of love, we are fulfilling all of the laws.
The law of love reaches to the ends of the earth. There is no created being in the universe who is outside the law of love that Jesus has come to teach us. When Jesus uses the metaphor, “the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter,” He is showing us the completeness of this law. Love and its demands reach to the farthest ends of the universe, to the smallest created being, and to the end of time.
The commandments of the old law as we find them in the Ten Commandments (e.g., Thou shall not kill; Thou shall not commit adultery; etc.) are serious transgressions but easy to define since they are external actions. Christ’s commandments (e.g., to not show anger; to not lust in the heart; to forgive our enemies; etc.) have more subtle expressions. They touch internal areas — the heart — which others cannot see. Because of this, they are more difficult to obey.
Living these commandments with the proper motivation and a considerate, dedicated attitude is what makes a person great. Having love as the motivation of all our actions not only helps us make it to heaven, but also will win us a greater share in God’s happiness and glory. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
---------- REFLECTION QUESTION ----------
Are you convinced in your heart and in your actions that the law of love asks you to love all people — not just your family, friends and those who rub you the right way?
Lord, do not let me be content to simply do the minimum that my faith asks of me. Do not let me be content simply with avoiding grave sin. Help me to live the fullness of the law of charity. I want this Lent to be a time of growth in love. Amen.