Models for our Families
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”
Why the law? God made man and began to form covenants with him. Covenants are serious! They form a familial bond that should not be broken. However, the Israelites were constantly breaking these covenants. So God would form new covenants with them, but each time new laws came with it. God commanded the Israelites “be holy; for I, the LORD, your God, am holy. Be careful, therefore, to observe what I, the LORD, who make you holy, have prescribed" Leviticus 20. The laws were meant to help Israel keep the covenants they had made with the Lord.
In the time of Jesus what the people knew about God came from the law. So what then can the law teach us about God? God is just! God desires to be worshipped. God wants us to love our neighbor. The very fact that God gives us law tells us that He desires our well being and that He wants to be involved in our lives. Essentially, the law teaches us that God loves us. Pope Francis recently said, "The Torah (the law) manifests the paternal and visceral love of God, a love shown in words and concrete gestures, a love that becomes covenant.”(News.va-February 24.2017) Through the law and the Prophets, ancient Israel knew God and were close to Him. But it wasn’t enough.
Jesus came to be the “image of the invisible God" Col 1:15He was the fulfillment of the promise which formed the basis for the covenants. Can you imagine a house with no parents, where therules were written down in books and maybe some big kid would say, “this is how it's supposed to be because the Father said so?” CHAOS! Why would you follow? Perhaps it would fill for a time but in the long run it would leave you empty. The law was only the beginning. God designed us in His Image to have an indwelling of Him. As St. Athanasius says, “the Son of God became man so that we might become God (On the Incarnation, 25).” Athanasius means that we were meant to be one with God and to be like him “be holy; for I, the LORD, your God, am holy" Lev 20:7 The law was a good start, but Jesus is the finale, the fulfillment. The law then moves us into union with God.
Reflect: Today take a moment and ask the Father which of His laws you break? Do you break them simply because you are a sinner and in need of Mercy? Or is there something about one of His laws you simply don’t understand? Ask Him how breaking those laws keeps you from Him.
Act: Ask Him to help you understand how obeying the Law unites you with Christ.
Father, teach me your ways that I may be one with your son. Amen!