Jews in the first century were very, very concerned about following Jewish law. As we hear in today’s second reading, Paul reminds them and us that the law is intended to direct us toward each other in love.
Brothers and sisters:
Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another;
for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery;
you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet, ”
and whatever other commandment there may be,
are summed up in this saying, namely,
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love does no evil to the neighbor;
hence, love is the fulfillment of the law.
Although we do not have a strict set of laws to abide by, sometimes we, too, fall into the trap of doing the things that we think will justify us before God. As Paul instructs us, love of each other is the only thing that we can do to fulfill God’s law. No formula, no list, no ritual.
There is only love.