Gospel Reflection Feb 16 – Msgr. Hendricks

Sunday, February 16

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Matthew 5: 17-37

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away,
not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter
will pass from the law,
until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called least in the kingdom of heaven.
But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments
will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses
that of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.

“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you,
whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment;
and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin;
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’
will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.

“You have heard that it was said,
You shall not commit adultery.
But I say to you,
everyone who looks at a woman with lust
has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin,
tear it out and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away.
It is better for you to lose one of your members
than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said,
Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.
But I say to you,
whoever divorces his wife – unless the marriage is unlawful –
causes her to commit adultery,
and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
Do not take a false oath,
but make good to the Lord all that you vow.
But I say to you, do not swear at all;
not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool;
nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head,
for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Anything more is from the evil one.”

Gospel Reflection:
In the first reading for this Sunday we learn that for the people of Old Testament to Keep the Commandments of God and to live faithfully would be to insure the blessing of God. Not to do so would bring loss of their relationship with God.

In the gospel for today, we see Jesus quoting from the 10 Commandments of God that were given to Moses as His Holy Word. Then Jesus does something unheard of. He moves beyond the literal interpretation of the words and extends them to how people are asked to live in the new kingdom, the one He was sent to bring and to have flourish. In short one must to go beyond the literal interpretation of what they have heard in the 10, and make them come alive by the way they live them out each day. The social aspect of the 10 commandments is the proof of their devotion to Jesus in the new kingdom he was sent to bring. The higher standards that Jesus brings in the gospel today are a challenge and an invitation to us. We are asked to simply live fully in and for Christ Jesus because of the light he brings to the human situation and because he wants us so badly to be with Him in the Kingdom of God.

Think about how His words today come alive in your heart and in your daily life.

-Msgr. Hendricks