Jesus has a tendency to push us to attain an even better way of life than we already live. That comes across today in the Gospel account from St. Matthew. He says that he has not come to abolish the Law or the Prophets, but to complete them. He challenges us by suggesting that our uprightness must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees.
Thus he offers several illustrations of that call to a better way. Three times he says something such as you have heard how it was said to our ancestors that we shall not kill, we shall not commit adultery, and so on. These continue even after today’s passage.
Each time, he says to us, but I say this to you. He is calling us to move beyond the letter of the law and to include things such as mercy, justice and love.