Where the heck does time go? Typing in the date this AM I suddenly realized half of June is now gone. A quick shout out to my brother John. He and his beautiful wife Mimi celebrated their 80th wedding anniversary yesterday. Those of you who know me know that I am joking about how long they’ve been married, John just said it SEEMED like 80 years…God bless you John and Mimi.
So, did you get a chance to read yesterday’s Gospel? Jesus explains that it’s just not killing a man that we will be accountable for but our accountability comes long before the killing – it starts with the hatred in our heart for that man. And today? Jesus said to his disciples:
“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…” Again, the sin doesn’t begin with the act of adultery but the with the mere act of looking at a women with lust in our heart is where the sin begins (and in most cases ends). I’ll give you a little look ahead into tomorrow’s Gospel, words mean things and Christ don’t like men talking like sailor’s. He also doesn’t like us speaking out of “both sides of our mouth” – let your Yes mean Yes and let your No mean No.
Bishop Barron did a great job explaining these three Gospels yesterday in his daily blog on the Gospel. The Jews in Jesus’ time had a deep and profound respect for Moses, which is why Jesus started His sermon yesterday with the words you have heard it said to your ancestors – this was in reference to Moses. For Jesus to follow that line with but I say to you is telling his audience that His authority is greater than Moses. Moses received his commandments from God and delivered them to the people of Israel. Jesus is now telling them that He is God and the meaning behind the commandments goes deeper than even what Moses understood.
We have a beautiful prayer that is used at the beginning of Mass that I wish we would recite more often because it truly grabs the essence of what Jesus is preaching to us in these three Gospels. Sin is not merely the act of doing something wrong but begins with our thoughts…
I confess to almighty God
and to you, my brothers and sisters,
that I have greatly sinned
in my thoughts and in my words,
in what I have done
and in what I have failed to do,
through my fault,
through my fault,
through my most grievous fault;
therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin,
all the Angels and Saints,
and you, my brothers and sisters,
to pray for me to the Lord our God
In my THOUGHTS (yesterday and today’s Gospel) and in my WORDS (tomorrow’s Gospel), in what I HAVE done and what I have FAILED to do…
Jesus is teaching us – not just in these three Gospels – that we are called to be like God. God’s love doesn’t produce sinful thoughts of hatred and lust, God’s love doesn’t use harsh words to convey its meaning. When God says yes He means it and when God says No, He doesn’t say this out of spite, but out of love, true love and His only desire is to keep us in that true love. If we want to be a part of that love (and I’m going to say this again, and again, and again) we have to truly commit to His commandments. This requires us to go deeper that what was written on the stones so many years ago, it requires us to commit to love of God and love of our neighbor deep inside our hearts. We have got to discipline ourselves to avoid what leads us away from God.
Life as a Christian is hard…the sooner you accept that the better off you’re going to be. We are part of this world and being part of this world we are going to face sin and more than likely, we are going to sin. Having said that, we must recognize that we are sinners and constantly seek God’s forgiveness. We must recognize our call to be Christians and commit to live by the commandments given to us by God and taught to us by Jesus. We are heirs to the kingdom but with that promise comes responsibility. Let’s commit to live as true Christians and make this world a better place, a loving place. Let’s set the example for all who walk this earth by loving God and our neighbors, in our thoughts and words, in all that we do.
Do something great for our Lord today.
God’s will, not mine, be done.
Be not afraid.
Jesus, I trust in You.