It’s been said by many scholars of scripture that “Jesus is more about love than the law;” a statement that we can be attentive to. How easy it is for us, as members of nations, societies, religions, and clubs, to use language such this, which often can be dichotomous, dualistic or black/white thinking.
While the lasting and promised mercy of Christ is certainly apart of our salvation, could it not be said that Jesus is “about” both love and the law? The two terms can be intertwined especially in the ways that Jesus expounds upon the law in today’s gospel. For example, Jesus explains that not only is the action of adultery or hate sin, but the very thoughts and mentality that lead up to those actions can also be culpable. Our heart is the very thing Jesus is after, not our good deeds.
It’s important to remember that there is definitely an eternal value to our actions and that confession is an important element to how we treat our humanness. There can be two ways we deal with this internal reality. Sometimes we want to go to confession every day “just to be safe,” or contrastingly, rely too much on the mercy of God without truly accounting for ourselves.
We all struggle with various sins we’ve committed and we can feel guilty. Some may question how merciful God is. “Can His love really be that endless? That good?” As serious and vast as our need for mercy may be, so to is the mercy he gives us. Let us turn to the only person who can truly be the last Word in our eternal standing. To a God who incorporates both love and law to help us be our truest, inherently good and beautiful selves.