Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 12, 2017
Reading 1SIR 15:15-20
Responsorial PsalmPS 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
- Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!
Reading 21 COR 2:6-10
AlleluiaCF. MT 11:25
Gospel MT 5:17-37
Homily— February 11 & 12, 2017
After hearing the first reading, what is your response? Do you trust God enough to keep his commandments? Do you choose fire or water, life or death, good or evil? God understands all that we do. God does not want us to act unjustly. God does not want us to sin.
Paul alludes to our lack of knowledge about what God has prepared for those who love him. Only the Spirit of God can reveal God’s heart to limited human beings. If we want to receive God’s gift that is prepared for us then we have to obey God’s commandments.
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish, but to fulfill.” Jesus’ words make sense if one remembers that while we translate “Torah” as “law,” it actually means something more like “instruction.” In Jesus’ mind, the Torah would have been more than an ancient law code; it was God’s instructions for becoming a human being. It was a “law” in that it demanded action, but it was also a source of divine wisdom.
God’s law was never supposed to function like a set of rules demanding conformity; rather; God told the people that the law was near to them, it dwelt in their hearts and would give them life. Nevertheless, they did not always take it in.Jesus now offers to show the disciples how to live the law in such a way that it directs their motivation and their perception, their heart and their mind It is only when the law is a living interior force that people can truly fulfill it.
Jesus certainly challenges us when he states “whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgement.” “Go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Who of us can say that we have not been angry at another person? Who of us can say that we have never for a moment looked at another person with some lust? Jesus says if our eye leads us to sin or our hand leads us to sin we would be better off without them. Jesus is not actually telling us to get rid of whatever body part that causes us to sin but He does point out the importance of avoiding sin and habits of sin.
When you are driving and there is a driver in front of you at the red light who does not move when the light turns green; how long do you wait until you “hit the horn”?!! If you follow someone who is at the roundabout and it is clear for them to enter but they are stopped; how long do you wait to honk your horn? Remember not everyone drives as well as you do!! Have patience!
Sometimes when we are watching television a scene may come on that we were not expecting and is not appropriate with our values Sometimes it happens at the movies too or perhaps we are browsing on the computer and click on something that we did not intend. Get rid of it as soon as you can so that it doesn’t become an occasion of sin for you.
This past week I remember hearing of two situations that are teaching moments Some people were talking of a person who was arrested because he was intoxicated. He is very good at his job and has a wife and child but is in danger of losing them because of his addiction to alcohol.
The other situation was of a man and his wife who were married for many years and were enjoying retirement when he leaves his wife for another woman. When he sees the error of his ways it is too late and his wife cannot take him back even though there is still love between them.
Jesus also talks about divorce and the ideal is that couples can live out their commitments but sometimes there is divorce and it may be the best option. When an annulment is granted then one is free to marry again and I do believe in a second chance as I believe Jesus does too.
Be compassionate as you deal with others and yourself. Avoid the trap of sins of addiction. Turn to God for help in your lives.