The Law of the Lord is just and wise. Moses instructed the Hebrew peoples to observe the Law carefully so that others would say of them, “This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.” Christ’s own testimony shows that He had no intention of doing away with the Law; He came not to abolish but to fulfill the Law. Our Lord tells us, “Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.”
The Law remains in effect until after the General Judgment on the Day of the Lord, when all of creation is judged. After that judgment, all souls will be in either heaven or hell. Those in heaven won’t need the Law, for they shall see God as He is. They won’t need the Law for they will become one with the Law in paradise. Those in hell will be beyond the benefit of the Law; for them, it will be too late for the Law to save them.
But for us today the Law of the Lord can save us. “But, wait a minute, Deacon,” some may object. “Isn’t it Christ who saves us?” Yes; absolutely. And Christ is the embodiment and the fulfillment of the Law.
Do we observe the Law diligently, either as individuals or as a nation? Well, on the one hand, I can’t claim I’ve heard anyone from a foreign land exclaim of us, “This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.” On the other hand, I do know many people who are faith-filled followers of Jesus Christ, and of them I can happily say they are truly a wise and intelligent people.
Happily, Jesus instructs us as individuals. “Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven,” Christ says. “But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.”
As Catholics, we are called to obey the Law, which comes to us from God. The Church gives us the Catechism, the teaching of the magisterium, and the writings of the saints so that we may better know what is expected of us as citizens of the Kingdom of God. It is our responsibility to never grow tired of educating ourselves in the commandments we are given so that we can grow in wisdom and intelligence before God and men.
It begins with each one of us, but it does not end there. We should not rest until all have been given the Good News and come to understand that wisdom and intelligence is found in following the ways of the Lord. Only then will the world look at us and say, “This great nation is truly a wise and intelligent people.”