Commentary on the Gospel of

Fr. Johnson Joseph Thurackal CMF

No Rabbi has the right to change Jewish law. They are commandments that are flawless and are to be observed to the minutest detail at all cost. The law is perfect and is above everything and everyone. Jesus said: “ I have come to complete the law.” It could amount to a blasphemy. What was lacking in the law? St. John in his prologue wrote: Law indeed was given through Moses; grace truth came through Jesus Christ (1:17). It was grace and truth that Jesus wanted to supplement to the law to perfect it. Did the Jewish law lack grace and truth? There was a dehumanizing element in the law which Jesus opposed constantly in his ministry. Whenever Jesus went beyond the law to show compassion, he was objected. When his contemporaries wanted to uphold the sanctity of the law, Jesus vehemently defended the dignity of the human beings and their right to be happy and whole. This is how Jesus perfected the law, challenging its very nature by the adding ingredients of love and compassion, even if it meant reinterpreting the law. And he transformed the whole law into one single immutable law – the law of love.

Leo Tolstoy captured the essence of this message when he wrote: “The truth that for our life one law is valid — the law of love, which brings the highest happiness to every individual as well as to all mankind.”

We are all guided by laws everywhere. They serve as norms of our conduct and save us from chaos. But the major task of the law should be to protect the weak and stand by the disadvantaged. It should guarantee rights, safety and dignity to all. The Gospel invites us to look at the way of Jesus completing the law and to be recognized as great in God’s sight. “For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal 5:14).


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