The law of God is mercy, not a price to pay for salvation

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When talking about the law of God, it is not easy to understand what you want to talk about, hence it would be good to ask yourself what is the role of the law and what does it have to do with God. From this reflection, I began to look to Bible passages that speak about the law. I really liked the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 5,17-18), where Jesus explains his relationship to the law: he does not abolish it, but completes it.

For a Christian, certainly we cannot say that the law has no value. From a careful reading of the Gospels you can understand the fulfillment that Jesus wants to give to the “old law”, that is, the Ten Commandments that God gave to his people through Moses. One of them is “do not kill” and Jesus tells us that it is a commandment against hatred and against condemnation of the others (Mt 5.21 to 26). Even the old commandment that condemns adultery becomes with Jesus “do not look at a woman lustfully” (Mt 5,27-30). In short, some laws are rejected by Jesus, such as divorce (Mt 5,31-32) or the one who said “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” (Mt 5, 38-42), while others, such as ” love your neighbor “, have been confirmed. Hence, Jesus is not to be understood always the same way, sometimes he hardens law, sometimes he internalizes them, sometimes he confirms them.

A Christian does not comply with the law to be saved. Compliance with the law did not offer salvation even in the Old Testament, in the book of Exodus is said that first of all, God has saved his people from Egypt, only then gives his law so that the people remains faithful to him ( eg 19.3 to 6). This confirms that salvation is not the result of compliance with a law, but, on the contrary, an oevent completely free and unmerited a man discovers to have already received through the law. With the law, the human being, male and female, becomes aware of their sin, the inability to give himself the salvation alone, thus he is led to seek salvation in the grace of God, who is Jesus Christ (Gal 3.23 to 25).

Be merciful as your Father is merciful (Luke 6:26), this law is also the motto of ‘Holy Year we are experiencing. If we read in parallel with the Gospel of Matthew (Mt 5:48) we understand that to observe perfectly the law of God means to be merciful. Jesus – Pope Francis  often reminds us – asks his disciples to become a sign and witness of his mercy. No one can compare with God, but Jesus invites everyone to recognize themselves as children of the same Father, equal in dignity, and to see the image of his merciful face in fraternal charity, which is based on the gratuity of forgiveness. The law of God does not remind us that to save ourselves we must respect His laws, it invites us to experience a love that before asking anything has already given everything unconditionally and irreversibly instead.

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