Here is today’s Gospel, from St Matthew: ‘Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven’.
St John Chrysostom commented: ‘Wherefore many things are uttered by Him, far below His proper dignity, and here when He is about to proceed upon His addition to the law, He has used abundance for correction beforehand. For neither was it once only that He said, I do not abrogate the law, but He both repeated it again, and added another and a greater thing; in that, to the words, Think not that I have come to destroy, He subjoined, I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. … And how, one may ask, did He not destroy it? In what way did He rather fulfil either the law or the prophets? The prophets He fulfilled, inasmuch as He confirmed by His actions all that had been said concerning Him … But the law He fulfilled, not in one way only, but in a second and third also. In one way, by transgressing none of the precepts of the law. For that He did fulfil it all, hear what He says to John, For thus it becomes us to fulfil all righteousness. … This then was one sense in which He fulfilled it. Another, that He did the same through us also; for this is the marvel, that He not only Himself fulfilled it, but He granted this to us likewise. … But if anyone will inquire accurately, he will find also another, a third sense, in which this has been done. Of what sort is it then? In the sense of that future code of laws, which He was about to deliver to them. For His sayings were no repeal of the former, but a drawing out, and filling up of them’.
As we seek to live out the precepts of the Lord in our daily lives, let us ask the prayers of St John Chrysostom, who laboured so tirelessly for Christ. May God bless you this day.