Reflecting on Matthew 5: 17-37
The Gospel today is so refreshing because it’s so in-your-face about the way we try to squirm out of really living it.
Don’t show up with your offering if you’re still furious with your brother. Don’t be slimy about your fantasy life with people not your spouse and still pretend that you are faithful. Don’t do mean and unethical things just because nobody is watching (really?) or because the law hasn’t noticed your tax evasions yet. Don’t do just enough to not get caught, love just enough to keep up appearances, swear on anybody’s dead body. Truth is truth and a lie’s a lie, so just tell the truth for heaven’s sake.
Here’s how the believer behaves, says Jesus. Do the hard and holy work of reconciliation. Be faithful in your private life, and oh how your light will shine in public. Let your actions spring from authentic love. Don’t watch the clock. Don’t ask if there’ll be a test on the material. Do fulfill the Law by abounding in love. In fact, just love, and then do what you will.
Think of the children whom you love fiercely, whom you want others to love and give the benefit of the doubt, to whom you hope the world will extend friendship and compassion. No half-teachers, half-friends, half-loves. You know how you want them to be loved. Now go, says Jesus, and love like that.
Whoosh! Did you feel that? It felt a lot like the fire of Sinai, carried like an Olympic torch by you, the light of the world.
Are there ways in which you are just putting in the time instead of actually investing in love?
What would YOU like to say about this question, or today’s readings, or any of the columns from the past year? The sacred conversations are setting a Pentecost fire! Register here today and join the conversation.
I have come to light a fire on the earth; how I wish it were already burning (Lk.12:49).