Today Thoughts: On this Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time we are confronted with the question – “By what spirit do we live?”
Our Gospel reading from Matthew today comes from Chapter Five in Matthew often known as the Sermon on the Mount. If you recall the Sermon begins with the Beatitudes but the section, we are called to consider today is one that focuses on the tradition of the Law and the Prophets.
It would be easy to suggest that Jesus has wandered into the legalism of his time, however that is not how I see it. My reading and reflection on today Gospel does not lead me to interpret law but to question by what spirit do I live the law.
For me the telling verses in are Gospel today come at the beginning and end of the Gospel. In the opening verse of today’s Gospel Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” and in the closing verse of the Gospel Jesus says, “Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’” In other words, Jesus tells us that law is not just words focused rules and regulations but on a Spirit by which we are to live and truth is at the center of that Spirit. Jesus’ fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets is the providing of the Spirit by which we are to see, hear and live the Law of God. Each of the laws Jesus addresses today are expanded to mean much more than their words say. Each law must be lived out through the Spirit of the Beatitudes. Each law must address care and concern of all people as children of God.
The way we live the Spirit of God’s Law is through truth. If we live in truth, then there is no need to swear. to pronounce oaths. Our “yeses” mean “yes” and our “noes” mean “no!”
May we choose to live by God’s Holy Spirit as we journey through life today and always!
Have a blessed and holy Sunday everyone.
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...