Sunday, February 12, 2017

Reflection: Matthew 5:17-37

The 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Matthew 5:17-37

Today Jesus instructs His disciples what not to do.  He begins His instructions by saying: “Do not think that I have come abolish the law and the prophets, I have come, not to abolish them, but to fulfill them.”  He continues on: “Of this much I assure you: until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter of the law. . . shall be done away with until it all comes true.”  Anyone who fulfills the law is the least in the kingdom.”  Then He adds: Whoever fulfills and teaches these commandments shall be great in the kingdom of God.  And unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of God.”

Jesus also speaks about judging others.  If we judge a sister or brother, we are the ones who will be liable for judgment, not them.  He then talks about anger.  He tells his disciples that if they get angry or use abusive language they will be held in contempt and they also are risking “the fires of Gehenna.”  Jesus warns his disciples about the danger of thoughts of impurity, adultery, divorce or making false oaths or pledges.  He ends with these words: “”Say ‘Yes’ when you mean “yes” and ‘no’ when you mean “no.”  Anything else is from the evil one.”

Take a moment and ask yourself: how often do I speak and words that are neither just nor appropriate?  If you are like me, it is far too often!  Yet, I may continue to do it.  Why do we do this?  Most of us know what is appropriate and inappropriate yet we continue to berate, judge, or demean others. In today’s Gospel, Jesus is very clear about what we are not to do!   Today pause a moment and ask yourself: Do I take Jesus’ words seriously?  Do I strive to live as He calls us to live?  Or will I continue to act in a manner I know is not healthy for me or for the people in my life?  Every day, every moment, we have a choice!  What will we choose today?  

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