“…unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.…”
Gospel: Matthew 5:20-22, 27-28, 33-34, 37.
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.21 “You have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not murder’; and ‘whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother or sister, you will be liable to judgment; and if you insult a brother or sister, you will be liable to the council; and if you say, ‘You fool,’ you will be liable to the hell of fire.27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to those of ancient times, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but carry out the vows you have made to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, Do not swear at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God,37 Let your word be ‘Yes, Yes’ or ‘No, No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.
A Family Perspective…
Thoughts are powerful things. If left unchecked they can become habits. They have the power to damage a marriage. It is damaging to fight and row out loud, but to silently harbour long-term resentment of your spouse can be much worse. It is terribly damaging to have an affair, but to use our computers and phones to secretly view porn…? In this week’s Gospel, Jesus tells us that is a form of adultery too.
What strikes me about this week’s Gospel is that what we carry secretly in our hearts has an effect on us and on those around us. We can sometimes find ourselves being one person on the outside and quite a different person on the inside. We find ourselves being one person at work, another person at home, and another person when we are on our own. There have been points in my own life when I have simply felt “this isn’t me”. Reconciling our inner and outer selves requires quiet time and space so we can reflect on who we are right now, and who we really are in the eyes of Christ.
When we are honest and live from the heart we become more fully ourselves. We become happier, more peaceful and we become a gift to each other.
Help me have the courage to tell You what is in my heart – good or bad. Help me understand that there is no need to be afraid to talk to you about anything because You love me. Besides – You are God, You know what I am going to say even before I’ve said it!
Thank You, I love You Jesus. Amen.