Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today’s readings challenge us to choose freely and wisely to observe the laws given by a loving and caring God. He revealed His laws to His Chosen People through Moses and the prophets in the Old Testament, and through His own Son, Jesus, in the New Testament. For the Israelites, the Torah was not a set of laws, but the instruction or teaching intended to promote the holiness and wholeness of each believer. It was the revealed will of a caring God, for the people with whom had He made His covenant.
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IWe learn in today’s reading from the Gospel of Matthew that the disciple’s heart must be as true as his words and actions. Jesus breaks down the commandments and suggests that it isn’t enough to simply avoid certain misbehaviors. We must also know our hearts and the intent that lies therein. For example, we know it is not acceptable to kill a person, but many of us walk around for years carrying bitter resentment and anger. Jesus says this makes us liable to judgment. We know better than to commit adultery, yet we think we can hide our lustful feelings in our hearts. Once again, doing so makes us liable to judgment. We are called to live authentically, and this means that our inner most thoughts must be held to the same judgment as our words and actions. We must seek holiness from the inside out! During your prayer time this week, do a thorough examination of conscience. Dig deep. What are you holding in your heart that needs to be thrown out? Take it to Jesus in confession and embrace your discipleship with renewed vigor!