To fulfill means to fill to the full, to supply what is lacking, to bring a promise to completion—and what has he come to fulfill? Everything. The myths, laws, mathematics, civilization, stories, our lives—everything that has always been insufficient and reached out for more. And yet we are not fulfilled.
Those who came before us looked forward in hope. We who have come after look back in faith. We stand, mirror images of each other, around this moment in history. Every lacking, incomplete, promising thing that has ever been is not abolished but reaches out, forward and back, to the Incarnation and the Resurrection. Christ is the fulfillment, but we are here, caught within time. To us he is still being born and still rising, filling up the world like a slow, imperceptible flood.
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
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.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven."