Friends, today’s Gospel presents Jesus as the new Moses delivering his Sermon on the Mount.
In the Old Testament, we find Moses, the great teacher, going up a mountain to receive the Law, and then sitting down to teach it. Likewise, Jesus goes up a mountain and sits down to teach. However, Jesus is not receiving a law; he is giving one. During his sermon, we hear, “You have heard that it was said . . . But I say . . .” which reveals that Jesus has authority even over the Torah.
The Law is not being abrogated; it is being intensified, raised to a new pitch. Jesus declares that he would not undermine the Law and the prophets but fulfill them.
For instance, Jesus teaches, “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” To be like God utterly, we obviously have to eliminate cruel and hateful actions. But we have to go deeper, eliminating cruel and hateful thoughts and attitudes as well, for God is love right through.