Friends, in the Gospel today, Jesus' words object to any stereotype of him as a someone who had rejected his Jewish heritage. He argues that he has come to fulfill the law, not abolish it. Jesus was familiar with the many laws of his Jewish faith. He saw the need for discipline and obedience to the commandments. But he also saw that the laws were not an end in themselves but were given by God to keep us on the right path and to safeguard our freedom and joy. He also taught that we must not only obey laws but get in tune with the values they protected and the spirit of love they were meant to protect. Only when certain laws became oppressive and were used to judge people, did Jesus have the courage and freedom to object and to break them.
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