June 12: Thursday of Week 10 of Ordinary Time, Year A-II:
A thought for those who want to reveal the risen Jesus in their lifestyle.
1Kings 18:41-46; Psalm 65:10,11,12-13; Matthew 5:20-26
“But I say to you, whoever is angry….” Matthew 5:22
If we follow the New Law of Jesus, our “righteousness” (morality) must “surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees.” Otherwise we “will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.”
The scribes taught and the Pharisees practiced the morality most of us grew up with. The Pharisees were “straight arrows.” They kept all the laws. Jesus says that is not enough.
Jesus changed the goal of the law. The Ten Commandments were laws for living peacefully with others in community. For example, “You shall not kill,” or injure, by word or action, another’s body, spirit or reputation. That is a “sin” because it diminishes the quality of human life on earth. And it provokes revenge and blood-feuds (see Genesis 4:13-23).
But the goal of the New Law is not community with other people; it is communion with God—in mind and heart and will, as well as in action. Jesus says whoever is angry with another—that is, just thinks about another without love—is already sinning, because that makes us unlike God. Christians must live by the law of God's life because by Baptism we have received “grace,” the gift of sharing in the divine life of God. Now we know what God meant when he said: "be holy because I, your God, am holy" (see Leviticus 11:45).
The New Law shows us how.
PRAY: “Lord, put your Law into my heart.”
PRACTICE: Think divine. Act divinely.