There are times in Christian circles when people talk about living according to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The implication, often unspoken and unwritten, is that the Law is not important and can be ignored if one is listening to where the Holy Spirit is leading us. On the surface of it the argument seems at least reasonable, but on closer evaluation it becomes quite clear that it is dubious at best. Let us see why…

 

Consider the situation in society if everyone is able to choose which laws they want to follow and those they want to ignore. It would result in unimaginable chaos! Laws work precisely because they oblige all people to follow them. Any other permutation of following the law/ignoring the law will ultimately fail. Yes, there are good laws that should be there and bad ones that should be eliminated.

 

Jesus knows all of this when he makes the statement we read in today’s Gospel. When he affirms that he is not going to change anything in the Law he affirms that the Law, namely the Ten Commandments, given by God to Moses is not in need of reform. Jesus affirms that the Gospel he proclaims through his life and ministry does not negate or remove any obligation for us to follow the Ten Commandments. A religion, like any other society, also requires rules and regulations in order to give it a structure so that it can endure through both the good and difficult moments of its history.

 

Good laws affirm values and principles essential to the protection of humanity and its social structures. Any attempt to rid human society of its laws will result in anarchy and the disintegration of that society. As we reflect upon Jesus’ words today let us be thankful for the gift of the Law, the guidance it provides and the vision of humanity it places before us. It is indeed something of a marvel, 3400 years old and still going strong!

 

What is my attitude to the Law? Do I recognize it as important in guiding my own values’ formation? Do I love the Law?

 

Holy Spirit, help me to open my heart to the guidance of the Law so that I will better understand its beauty and relevance to my life.