Thursday, June 9, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 5:20-26

Thursday of the 10th Week in Ordinary Time – Matthew 5:20-26

Today Jesus tells us that our righteousness needs to surpass that of the righteousness of the Pharisees. He tells us that if we are not righteous, we will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

Most likely, righteousness is not a word we use every day. We are more apt to use words such as upright, honest, or decent to describe a righteous person. Who are the people you consider righteous in the best sense of the word? What are the qualities that you admire in them?

Do you consider yourself a righteous person? If so, what are the righteous qualities that you strive to cultivate in yourself? (honor, uprightness, honesty, respectability, decency, morality, goodness, love, generosity, forgiveness?)

A righteous person is a good person. A righteous person is a loving person, an honest person. If we are at odds with anyone, Jesus desires that we settle our differences. A righteous person is the one who seeks out the individual with whom he or she needs to be reconciled and makes peace with that person.

To be truly righteous is not easy. First of all, we have to have an open and willing heart. We have to be willing to be the one who says: “I am sorry” or “Please forgive me.” Every day we need to work on our righteousness. Anger, hurt, and pain slowly erode our righteousness and may ultimately destroy it. If we are carrying anger, hurt, or pain, eventually this will eat away not only our righteousness but also our peace of mind and heart.

As always, we have a choice. Do we desire to be truly righteous in the best sense of the word? Do we desire to be like Jesus? If so, what is one choice we can make today to move in the direction we desire? Will we take one step forward today? I pray we will!

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