The Fulfillment of the Law

Today’s second mass reading from St. Paul’s letter to the Romans speaks of love as the “fulfillment of the law.” All the commandments, says Paul, are summed up in “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I think it is sometimes easy to forget that…easy to get caught up in this rule or that. But, as we are reminded in the letter to the Corinthians, we can do everything else right – we can follow all the rules, we can achieve a great many things – but if we don’t have love, none of it matters the slightest.

There is a Talmudic story of the great teacher, Hillel. It is it told that when asked for the meaning of the Torah (in some versions he is asked to recite the whole Torah), he said, “What you would not have others do to you, do not do to others. This is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary.”

Love God, Love one another. The rest is commentary.