Today is something of a serendipitous day, because both of today’s readings touch on the relationship between the old and the new covenants.
In the first reading (2 Corinthians 3:4-11), Saint Paul speaks of the Mosaic covenant as “the ministry of death” and faded glory.
In the Gospel (Matthew 5:17-19), our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ says this:
Do not think that I have come
to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish
but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you,
until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
Salvation comes from God’s free gift of grace through Christ, not through legal or moral achievement itself.
Yet, as Saint Paul reminds us elsewhere, immorality is incompatible with the life of Christ within us.
Thus, inspired by the Holy Spirit, Saint Paul elsewhere teaches moral precepts and the Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, does the same.
May you and I be open to God’s free gift of grace, thankful for it, and let it move our lives in the paths of righteousness.