FAVOR ME WITH YOUR LAW
"People could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another... as a matter of honor, one person owes it to another to manifest the truth." (Thomas Aquinas)
In today's Gospel acclamation we proclaim, "Incline my heart, O God, to Your decrees; and favor me with Your law" (Ps 119:36). What does it mean to "fulfill" the law, that is, to bring it to its fullest expression? Some have argued that Christ Jesus is presenting an ideal beyond reach of all except for the most heroic. But that misses the point. According to early Christians, Matthew's Gospel account of the Sermon on the Mount was used as a catechism for the newly baptized children of God. Therefore, it was preceded by conversion, by being overpowered by the Good News.
The radical way of life that Jesus outlined is intended for those who are already, in Paul's words, "in Christ...a new creation" (2 Cor 5:17). Thus, reconciled with God, they are able to live a new life. Living this new life helps us to be faithful witnesses of the truth. Jesus teaches the disciples the unconditional love of truth. He speaks against bearing false witness and all forms of untruthfulness that can cause us great harm. St. Thomas Aquinas said, "People could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another... as a matter of honor, one person owes it to another to manifest the truth."
In the Responsorial Psalm we acclaim, "The Lord is kind and merciful. He pardons all your iniquities, and He heals all your ills" (Ps 103:8a, 3). He brings us to new life if we live by His law of love. May God's word of truth penetrate our hearts!