Gospel Reading: 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 with him. 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.”
Be reconciled with your brother
Jesus requires his disciples to be reconciled with their brothers and sisters before offering gifts to the Lord. For Jesus, it is not right to worship God while remaining at odds with others. The righteousness or spirituality of the disciples must surpass that of the teachers of religion.
Discipleship is not minimalistic conformity or narrow interpretation of the law. The religion we practice cannot be lopsided, embracing God only. We must include our brothers and sisters who have hurt us or whom we may have harmed.
Humans as we are, we commit mistakes and cause damage to others. Here we must pay attention to this sentiment. We must give justice. Reconciliation is giving justice to the aggrieved. We must repair the damage we have done.
Jesus indicates the urgency of settling with the opponent. Failure to do so has devastating effects. There are sanctions; we cannot run away from responsibility. Being reconciled with others is being reconciled with ourselves.
If we stay unreconciled, it is like we are living in hell. Our gift at the altar is not acceptable.
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Are you evasive or conciliatory? Can you say sorry and repair the damage you have done?
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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: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.
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