Scripture Readings: Sirach 15.15-20; 1 Corinthians 2.6-10; Matthew 5.17-37
“Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill them.” – Matthew 5.17
Jesus reflects on Israel’s laws in Sunday’s gospel by inviting us to assess our inner attitudes. The fifth commandment says “You shall not kill.” Jesus wants us to recognize anger and insult can harm and even kill. Anger can be user-friendly in alerting us that we have choices to make. We feel anger when our expectation aren’t met, when someone puts us down, disses us, ignores our opinions, takes credit for an idea, boasts, hurts us or someone we love. We have choices about how we act on our feelings. Maybe we need to express anger directly to the person who didn’t meet our expectations and not spread anger around or hold grudges forever.
“You shall not commit adultery,” Jesus quotes the sixth commandment. He adds that looking lustfully at another’s spouse is the same. Desires can inspire us and sidetrack us. Desire for justice can put us to work to change polices but advertising plays with our desire for more in order to lure us to buy. Our bodies and spirit are not separate but one whole. We must integrate our sexuality and spirituality. Jesus exhorts us to be single-hearted and honest in our marriage relationships. Christian community also depends on openness to wider friendships in which our embodied selves express love and concerns in handshakes, hugs, and kind actions.
Jesus brings up taking debtors to prison and swearing false oaths but nothing about friending and unfriending on Facebook or sorting the truth from lies in a global world that feeds on sensation and spin 24/7. We have our own reflection to pursue.
What rules from your family have gospel roots? What helps you deal with anger? How do you express love and care for others?
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