Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord! — Psalm 119:1
The Pharisees considered themselves righteous because they were ultra-scrupulous about obeying God’s law to the very letter. Yet, in today’s Gospel, Jesus insists on a righteousness surpassing that of the Pharisees.
In interpreting a law, a judge will sometimes take into consideration the intention behind the creation of that law. Taking, in turn, six different laws, Jesus looks beyond the law to the heart of the Law-Giver. By expanding the scope of these laws, Jesus shows that what is required is wholehearted obedience to the intentions underlying these laws, not mere outward conformity. As British theologian Michael Green puts it, “The law is not the limit of obedience; it is to be seen rather as the springboard for a life of devotion to Jesus and his Father. It is the curbstone along the road of love.”
Prayer: Lord, in all I say and do, let me seek to delight Your heart.