6th Sunday of the Year

Dear friends in Christ,

Today’s readings present us the wisdom: God gives us his commandments because he loves us.

Sirach in the First Reading calls us to reflect on the value and meaning of the law, saying, “If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; … Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him.” All this reflects God’s words to Adam and Eve in Genesis: “You are free to eat from any of the trees of the garden except the tree of knowledge of good and bad. From that tree you shall not eat; the moment you eat from it you are surely doomed to die.”

In the Gospel Jesus tells his disciples, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.” Jesus’ mission is to restore the full value of God’s law and his will, and bring it to fulfillment by stressing its dimension of love. Using examples Jesus tells the crowd that external observance of the law is not enough, there must be interior loyalty. Thus he says: washing hands and cups is good, but purifying hearts is much more important; murder is wrong, but so are the anger, hostility and un-forgiveness which lead to it; adultery is bad, but the impure thoughts which is its cause are also bad; swearing is wrong, but so is anything else that urges one to make a false oath. Keeping God’s commandments is the perfect way for us to respond to God as Jesus points out the truth that all the commandments of God must become for us a right way to make good choices.

Jesus’ teaching is wisdom, but not a wisdom of this age, rather, it’s “what God has prepared for those who love him. God’s law is the revelation of his wisdom which governs all he has created. Jesus says that keeping God’s commandments out of trust and love for him is what makes our righteousness surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees. It is the way that leads to God’s kingdom.


Fr. Joe