Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 16, 2020
How many of us were told when we were a young child do not touch the stove? How many of us were told do not play with matches? If you do this, then that will happen. And sure enough my mother, was always right. I should have listened to her more, I would not have suffered as much!
Sirach dedicated his life to giving instruction in the ways of God. For under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the law of God was the only true source of wisdom. God created us with the capacity to make choices. As Sirach points out that people can extend their hands to the fire or toward water. The consequences of this choice is dramatically different. Some choices lead to life and others lead to death. In our world there is good and there is evil.
By God’s grace people have all the resources necessary to make the right choices in life. Sirach reminds us that we can choose to keep God’s commandments. We are in a covenantal relationship with God that is no longer written in stone but the new covenant has been written in our hearts. That is why Jesus says that he has not come to do away with the old law but that he has come to perfect it. Jesus had come to teach us how to love God and to love one another in a more profound way.
We call this the law of love. Jesus challenges us when he says: you have heard it said ….. But I say to you! When we look at the Gospel. Jesus goes beyond the literal meaning of the commandment such as thou shalt not kill but teaches that anger is a form of killing especially when it is acted out. Adultery begins with thoughts of lust and progresses if not checked. For Jesus marriage is more than just a contract, marriage is a covenant experience between a man and a woman which reflects Jesus’ love for his bride the Church. He has loved us his bride so much that he was willing to lay down his life for his bride the Church. Jesus talks about making oaths but Jesus wants the truth to stand on its own so that making an oath is unnecessary. Jesus is the truth and those who listen to him will have the words of eternal life.
An interesting statement given by Jesus is: if your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna. Jesus use this hyperbole or this overstated idea to hit home for us the importance of turning away from sin in our lives and to grow in holiness and in our relationship with God and our brothers and sisters.
In all that we do and say and how we treat others, must always give honor and glory to God. We do not think of laws as a source of freedom but when we obey God’s laws we are free to love as God loves and to do the things that God would do. Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord.