Bishop’s Homily for the Mass of 26 March 2014

Bishop’s Homily for the Mass of 26 March 2014. Readings: Deut 4:1, 5-9; Ps 147:12-13, 15-16, 19-20; Matt 5:17-19
 
In today’s Gospel, Our Savior says He did not come to abolish the law and the prophets but to complete or fulfill them. He says that not one letter or part of a letter (in the RSV, “not an iota, not a dot”) “will pass from the law until all is” accomplished.
 
Picking up on this, Bishop Vasa observed, “Some today say the Lord did away with” the law, and that somehow with the New Covenant, “the Ten Commandments no longer apply.” Rather, these people assert that it is “the Spirit [Who] guides” us, and we no longer need a law.
 
“The Spirit,” countered His Excellency, “does not dispense with the law, but instead gives us strength so far in excess of the law that we will never violate it.” If we “obey the law in a spirit of life, in a spirit of love for God and the kingdom, we will never violate” any of God’s precepts.
 
“This is not because we are being legalistic, but because we want to strive, we desire to live in the gospel of the Lord,” to give ourselves over to that in “totality so that we will no longer care about the things of this universe.”
 
This is what can happen “if we set our whole self toward and our sights on God.”