Monday, June 9, 2014

The New Law: "...for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3

June 9: Monday of Week 10 of Ordinary Time, Year A-II:
A thought for those who want to reveal the risen Jesus in their lifestyle.

1 Kings 17:1-6; Psalm 121:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8; Matthew 5:1-12

Jesus introduces his New Law with a series of statements that contradict our basic assumptions. He calls us fortunate if some recognized inadequacy convinces us we haven’t “got it made.” This is to be “poor in spirit.” Jesus says it opens us to accept the “kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus says those who “mourn” are blessed, because if we are afflicted by what is wrong with the world, and frankly face our own sins and anxieties, we will be “comforted” by truth that gives solid and lasting peace. Do we believe that?

Do we really believe the most “blessed” people on earth are those whose main preoccupation in life is getting holy? More than getting educated, being successful, financially secure?

The New Law of Jesus begins where the rules for good human living leave off. It gives shocking guidelines for people whose only goal in life is to let Jesus live in them and continue his mission on earth. No one else can understand or accept the New Law. They are guidelines for thinking like Jesus; that is, like God.

To “bear witness” as a Christian is to live visibly in a way so inexplicable without the Gospel that our lifestyle raises eyebrows. This is to be a prophet. This is “pre-evangelization.” We “evangelize” by answering the questions raised by our actions.

PRAY: “Lord, let me ‘live and give’ the Good News.”

PRACTICE: Re-read the Beatitudes, open to challenge.

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