May 31, 2008


Ninth Sunday - Year A

Matthew 7: 21-27

Doing the Father's will

What does the Father want us to do?
It is significant to note that the passage chosen for this Sunday comes at the end of the Sermon on the Mount (Chapters 5 - 7). In this Sermon,
he reaffirms the validity of God's commandments, "Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven" (5:19). He then goes beyond the Jewish understanding of the law to give his teaching regarding divorce, adultery, oath taking, and avoidance of sin ("if your hand causes you troubles ...). And very significantly, Jesus gives us the Beatitudes. He also tells us that we are the salt of the earth and light of the world. Chapter 5 ends with the revolutionary commandment, "I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father" and the demand "be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect."

In Chapter 6, Jesus teaches us how to pray, fast, and give alms as children of God. He also teaches what to pray for with the Our Father. Chapter 6 ends with the reassurance that God, our Father, cares for us.

The early part of Chapter 7 tells us what it means to trust in God with the parables of the son asking his earthly father for fish and bread. Jesus also warns us not to judge, and to avoid the wide and easy way.

With the content of the Sermon on the Mount in mind, we can recognize what Jesus refers to as "these words of mine." Jesus does not talk theory when he exhorts us to act on his words. He does not speak theory when he teaches us to "do the will of my Father." God's command is not something in the sky. It is in the concrete things of our daily life that we find God's will. It is in the concrete things of our daily life that we can live as God's children.

No comments: