February 25, 2017
What/Who Is First?
Lent is about to begin. And today’s Gospel might be quite timely in giving us some orientation for our Lenten discernment.
To put things in perspective, three verses prior to the beginning of this passage, Jesus tells his disciples, “where your treasure is, there also will your heart be.”
What/Where is my treasure?
What priority do I give to God?
Do I seek first the Kingdom of God? If not, then what/who is first?
Image source: www.agnusday.org
February 18, 2017
I Say to You …
The idea behind the rule “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is to ensure that revenge does not get out of hand (a kind of punishment that fits the crime). It is for the preservation of a community and a tribe.
The law of Jesus goes beyond the benefits of one community or tribe, or even one people or one nation. Jesus gives and is the new law of love for all humanity. In Christ, all are brothers and sisters, children of the same Heavenly Father.
Yet, in our world today, we, Christians included, might not even put a community first. We often operate by the principle, “What’s in it for me.”
As Jesus continues to teach the new law, today’s Gospel certainly offers us a chance for some examination of conscience.
How am I living for all others the way Jesus Christ does?
February 10, 2017
Matthew 5: 17-37
Who, not What, to Follow
Laws, rules, principles, customs, and regulations provide the necessary basics and foundations. This can be seen in games, sports, music, arts, etc. as well as in family life and all human relationships.
Let’s take the example of a sport. There are certain rules that everybody needs to follow in the game. Then there are the basic techniques, set plays, strategies, etc.
A start athlete knows the rules, and masters the techniques and strategies. Yet, he/she becomes a star for the creativity and moments of ingenuity.
So it is with Christian spiritual life.
There are the basics, which the law, traditions, and principles provide, for all to observe.
But it is Jesus Christ who inspires, and who is the supreme model for Christians to follow. In this way, Christians continue to be the presence of Christ to others, the light of the world, and the salt of the earth (the theme which began with last week’s Gospel passage).
February 4, 2017
Light of the World
When Matthew introduces Jesus’ public ministry, he identifies Jesus as the light, citing the Prophet Isaiah, “the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light, on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death light has arisen.” (4:16, the Gospel we heard 2 Sundays ago).
Today, Jesus calls us to be the light of the world. He shares his mission with us .
In order to be the light of Christ to the world, we must live as he has lived.
Looking at the Sunday Gospels continuously, the Beatitudes, which we heard last week, are our guides.
We know that only Jesus lives the Beatitudes to perfection . The better we live the Beatitudes, the brighter our reflection of Christ’s light.
 . John Petty. http://www.progressiveinvolvement.com
 . Saint Pope John Paul II. “The Beatitudes are a self-portrait of Christ.” Tweeted by Rocco Palmo, http://whispersintheloggia.blogspot.com