Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

2Cor 3:4-11; Ps 99:5-9; Mt 5:17-19

Out of the fire and cloud of the mountain, Moses brought the light and guidance of the law to Israel. From the pillar of cloud in the day and the pillar of fire in the night comes the guidance and insight needed to hear and to heed God’s commands.  Both the Old and New Testaments are the universal summons to go beyond the letter and live by the Spirit.  This is the ministry of the Spirit that we read about in Second Corinthians.  Jesus, in his obedient life-style and in his inspired teaching, fulfills the law and the prophets.  He is faithful in matters of the heart as well as in matters of the hands.  The external manifestation of the interior world of Jesus is totally consistent and richly compassionate.

The Fathers of the Church identify “glory” with “the Holy Spirit.”  To abound in glory means to abound in the Holy Spirit.  It is this Holy Spirit that gives Saint Paul and his beloved Corinthians confidence in God through Christ.  This confidence is nothing to boast about; rather, it is a gift from God.  Notice, Saint Paul identifies the brothers and sisters in Corinth as qualified ministers of a new covenant, “not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.”  Everyone who is called in Christ is sent in the Spirit to minister a new covenant. You cannot be merely a member of the Body of Christ you must summon others into the Body of Christ.  Like our ancestors in Corinth, we, too, are identified as “ministers of a new covenant.”  Such is our identity; we are all ministers of the holy gospel.  We are evangelists simply because of our baptism and confirmation.

It is the same Holy Spirit that abounds in the life and ministry of Our Lord and God, Jesus Christ.  In his Sermon on the Mount the Lord Jesus makes it clear that he is no enemy of the law; he is not opposed to the tradition of guidance from the First Moses. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.”  The phrase, “the law and the prophets,” refers to the entire Old Testament.  As Jesus continues to explain, “I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”  The New Moses does not reject the First Moses.  This fulfillment that the Lord Jesus proclaims is from His heart and in the Spirit.  He does not oppose the Father’s will even in the slightest manner, and he teaches others to be this obedient.  Christ’s obedience is out of love not out of fear.  Only because we have been filled with the Holy Spirit, which was upon the Son from the eternal moment of his being begotten of the Father.  Only because of our Spirit-filled life in Christ can we obey the greatest and least of the commands of Our Father.  Without the obedience of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit we could only despair in all our efforts toward holiness.  Here at the fulfillment of the Old Covenant in the New Covenant in Christ’s Body and Blood do we have the greatest desire to obey and even the least desire to obey Our Father.