February 12, 2017
Feb 22, 2017
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time - Fr. Leo
Matthew’s gospel begins with Jesus affirming that he is not against Judaism. Jesus understands the place of “Law.” in the spiritual life. However, Jesus’ understanding of law is quite different than that which was practiced by his fellow Jews in Jerusalem.
For Jesus, the law is a guide but not an end in it’s self. We know that Jesus broke the law when appropriate, as David did in eating the bread of the temple with his men. Jesus also saw how limited and limiting the legalism of the law could be. He not only taught that murder is wrong, but he went further to say that if you are angry with someone, you need to reconcile with your fellow man or woman to live in the fullness of the Spirit. This is the meaning of the sign of peace in the liturgy. We make peace, we reconcile so that our participation in the oneness of God in the Eucharist will be real.
Anger is a very important feeling and reconciliation seeks to resolve the anger. Sometimes it may be a sign of an injustice done against us, but often it is more complicated. In the end, the reconciliation needs to take place in us so that we can live in peace with others in Christ’s love.
Our first two readings and psalm response today locate the law in our hearts. Law is not defined or a written set of rules for behavior, but a way of relating to God and creation that is instinctive to the spirit that lives within us. Thus, for us to be faithful, we need to be true to our deepest sense of self created in the image of God. The guide to that truest inner self is Christ. When we love as he loved, loving God, ourselves and others, we are on our way.
Prayer and the gift of the Holy Spirit is our only guide. May God, bless our prayer and open our minds, bodies and souls to the work of God’s Spirit with-in us. This, as the scriptures make clear today, is our choice. Let us choose wisely then, and ask God to help us be faithful to our choice.