Our Gospel today comes from the heart of Out Lord’s famous “Sermon on the Mount.”
The key thing we must know about the Sermon on the Mount is that it purposely copies that Old Testament passage when Moses gave us the Ten Commandments. In that old story, Moses went up on the mountain, calling the Jewish leaders around him, then issuing the Ten Commandments. In today’s Gospel, Jesus went up ono the mountain, calling the Apostles up around him, and issuing his own commandments that we call the Beatitudes.
It helps to know that it was accusations the Pharisees were making against him that brought Jesus to give us the Sermon on the Mount. They were accusing him of not honoring Moses and the Prophets. Now, they were wrong there, Jesus honored the Prophets and kept the Commandments. What he didn’t do, and what the Pharisees were accusing him of, was keep a thousand little rules that they had added to the Commandments. They had made it sinful to cure on the Sabbath, or to eat a meal with non-Jews.
As for the real Ten Commandments, Jesus went beyond keeping them, he fulfilled them. Moses gave the Commandments to keep us from disastrous things like murder, adultery, abandoning our parents. That was only the beginning of being good people. As Christians we must live by Our Lord’s Beatitudes. We must be meek and merciful, loving our enemies as much as our friends.