The be-all and end-all of our laws

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

LET’S be clear about this. We may sound fanatical, narrow-minded or extremely biased to some people, but we just have to bring it up in the open to show the objective basis of such claim.

Christ is the be-all and end-all of all our laws. That’s because he himself said so. “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfil,” he said. “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.” (Mt 5,17-18)

We just have to remind ourselves that no matter how much we try to put and define things according to our own terms, in the end it is God through Christ in the Holy Spirit who will prevail in defining how things ought to be, ought to be understood and acted upon.

It’s truly worth repeating what he said: “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.”

God, after all, is the Creator of everything. He is the original and supreme legislator. And he is also the ultimate judge of everything. It would at least be strange if we do things, like making and interpreting laws, without referring things to God.

But, alas, it’s quite clear that nowadays there is a strong drift away from such understanding of how laws ought to be made, interpreted and followed. We are now redefining things according to our own terms. We are now redefining even the basic natural law and especially the natural moral law.

Just consider the issues of gender, abortion, marriage and divorce, race, etc. In some countries that are supposed to be quite developed already, the redefinition of things has gone haywire. Like, there are now practically limitless genders. Anyone can choose what gender he or she likes depending upon how he or she feels. Everything has become subjective. The objective basis of things has practically been deleted out.

And one side issue that has become practically misunderstood in this whole affair is the role of the Church in defining what is true, moral and natural. There’s that automatic attitude of saying that since there is separation between the Church and state, then the Church should never be given any consideration in the state’s duty of making laws. Thus, any reference to the Church in lawmaking is regarded as anathema.

We have to remind ourselves strongly that it is Christ who ultimately gives the real meaning and purpose of our laws. We have to disabuse ourselves from the thought that our laws can be based only on our common sense, or on our own estimation of what is good and evil according to the values of practicality, convenience, etc., or on our traditions and culture, etc.

While these things have their legitimate role to play in our legal and judicial systems, we have to understand that they cannot be the primary and ultimate bases. It should be God, his laws and ways that should animate the way we make laws as well as the way we apply and live them. After all, being the Creator of all things, he is the one who establishes what is truly good and evil.

And the will, laws and ways of God are revealed to us in full by Christ!