In today’s Gospel Jesus speaks to us about the Law and the Prophets, and he calls us all to a more heartfelt observance of God’s Law.
Our observance of the Law has to be more than rote.
It has to be more than going through the motions.
Our observance of the Law has to be more than giving the bare minimum or simply following of letter of the law.
That’s what the scribes and the Pharisees did.
God wants more from us.
God want our lives and our moral conduct to be motivated by a love which goes way beyond the simple letter of the law.
When you love someone you want the best for them.
When you love someone you want to give them the best you have.
A mom who loves her children would never just put a bowl of cheerios on the table for her kids day in and day out and then make herself a warm meal.
Yes, she would be following the letter of the law by “feeding” her children but love would never permit her to do such a thing.
I’ve known lots of Moms and Dad’s including my own who have taken food off their plates because their children were hungry.
They make this sacrifice because that what love demands.
The law, the Ten Commandments are from God they are given to us because God loves us and they show us the way home.
He didn’t give them to us to take away our fun or cramp our style.
He gave them to us because observing them with love is the best possible choice we can ever make.
Jesus uses three examples he reminds us that…
It’s not enough to avoid murdering someone, love calls us to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us.
It’s not enough to simple be physically faithful to our spouse, love calls us to treat everyone with respect and reverence.
One kid told me that he felt that looking at women and allowing his imagination to go into overdrive was like cheating in his head.
He felt this way because of his love for his girlfriend.
He understood that love called him to more and he understood what Jesus was talking about in the Gospel today.
Every human relationship is based on truthfulness
Telling the truth..
If you can’t trust someone to tell the truth then you can’t really be in a relationship with them.
Sometimes we are inclined to take the easy way out and tell a little lie or a little fib.
Both love and the law demand that we tell the truth… They also demand that we find charitable ways to do so.
Jesus reminds us in the Gospel
“Say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no.”
Sadly the scribes and the Pharisees believed that the blind dry observance of the law was enough to be justified.
Jesus wants more from his followers.
Love calls us to more.
When we choose to follow God’s law in a loving way we choose the path of righteousness and holiness.
Let’s return to the first reading for just a moment because it sums everything up beautifully.
“If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live”
Before man are life and death, good and evil,
whichever he chooses shall be given him.