“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
A number of years ago I was on the board of a new school serving young people from the inner city. In the course of several board meetings a conversation developed about keeping the school financially viable or producing a curriculum which would truly serve the students. To many board members it seemed the goals were mutually exclusive. After each such discussion, I would ask, is this really an either/or proposition? Why can’t it be both/and? Thank goodness, the conversation did turn to the latter approach and the school has gone on to serve its students wonderfully.
It seems to me Jesus is saying the same thing in today’s gospel. He has not come to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. It is not either/or; it is both/and. There is deep truth in the law and in the prophets. Jesus comes to make those truths even deeper and richer to feed our souls.
How often do we approach other traditions or people thinking it is either/or rather than taking the opportunity to see the beauty and truth of that tradition or person, even though they are different and unfamiliar? Will not our lives be so much richer if we can see and appreciate the beauty and truth which other people and traditions bring to the world?
What can I do today to honor someone else’s truth or tradition?
—David McNulty is the Provincial Assistant for Advancement, Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus
Lord, you desire for us a life rich in friendship, in purpose, and in all that nourishes our spirit. Open our minds to the beauty and truth which other people and traditions bring to the world. We ask that we not simply tolerate diversity but that we celebrate the chance to experience life even more deeply.
—The Jesuit Prayer TeamPlease share the Good Word with your friends!