Photo illustration by Phil Younk
Click on the photo for a printable PDF!

Do what God expects of you

Based on Sir 15:15-20; 1 Cor 2:6-10; Mt 5:17-37

This Sunday’s readings highlight the Commandments.

Sirach promotes the Ten Commandments: “If you choose you can keep the Commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live.

St. Paul tells us what we can expect if we follow the Commandments: “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him, this God has revealed to us through the Spirit.”

In the Gospel, Jesus clarifies the difficult demands of God’s Ten Commandments. All the evil deeds prohibited by the Commandments arise from evil thoughts and words leading to evil actions.

Jesus advises us to begin with ourselves. Good external behavior is not enough; there must be a renewal of hearts and attitudes.

It is not enough to avoid murder – we must avoid thoughts of hate, anger and displeasure with others and hurt-causing words.

It is not enough to avoid adultery – we must uphold the sacrament of marriage and respect and honor others as the Body of Christ and temples of the Holy Spirit.

It is not enough to avoid lies – we must be honest with others as God is with us, and not make promises we don’t intend to keep.

As followers of Jesus, we are to see the world as God sees the world. Our thoughts, words and actions – our behavior – should reflect the way we recognize God’s presence around us.

We have choices to make: good versus evil, the wisdom of the cross versus the wisdom of the world. Discipleship is not easy. But Jesus promises to help us.

He has given us his own Body and Blood in the Eucharist, the sacrament of reconciliation and the help of the Holy Spirit. He wants to shower us with his grace and blessings.

Our faith journey may be uphill and difficult at times, but what God has waiting for us is worth our effort.

Lord Jesus, renew our hearts so we can live out your call to holiness.