It’s not really about dotting the ‘I’s and crossing the ‘T’s!
7 March 2018
At first glance, today’s Gospel seems to suggest that God is sitting up in the clouds with a clipboard, ticking off when we do the right and wrong things, deciding whether we rate to be “great” or “least” in heaven.
A closer read reveals a much more inspiring vision.
In the first reading, Moses expresses something of the point Jesus is making when he says to the people of Israel: “What great nation has its gods as near as YHWH our God is whenever we call to him?” The Law was and is the concrete expression of the close relationship between God and his people.
So when Jesus tells us that he has “not come to abolish the Law” and that “not one dot, not one little stroke will disappear from the Law,” he is not speaking as an enforcer of the rules, but more as their explainer. He is letting us know that God remains fully committed to his relationship with us. And He himself, “God with us,” is the proof of that, the completion of the Law. In his life, death, and resurrection, He fulfils the purpose of the Law, dealing definitively with the sin that holds us away from God, and making way for us to enter fully into the relationship with God that we were made for.