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Your righteousness surpasses

 

reflections

LIKE the Phar­isees, we may get the impres­sion that Jesus is very minimal­ist, even dismis­sive, in terms of obedience to commandments and laws. But the Gospel reminds us that far from be­ing anti-law or anti-commandment, Jesus goes to the heart of the matter, beyond the “letter of the law.” And he expects us to have the same mindset towards God’s laws and commandments.

We may not be murderers, not violating the commandment against killing another human being, but we may harbor grudges or nurture anger in our hearts. Does this make us look better in God’s eyes? We can be “silent murderers” of others by our indifference or apathy, our gossiping and character assassina­tion, our silence before injustices done to others. We may not have coveted the spouse of another, but Jesus reminds us that if our looks are filthy and lustful, we have al­ready committed adultery in our hearts.

 

Gospel: Mt 5:20-26

Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into 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.”

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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