On Today’s Gospel

Posted: March 11, 2022 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections
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It is undeniable that upholding our Christian virtues, values and righteousness is the most challenging of anything else in our lives. By virtue of our Baptism we have a higher calling, to be Holy as our Heavenly Father is Holy.  And having been inserted into the life, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ; we too have to carry our cross and follow after Him.

Why then should we struggle? Why should we avoid sin? For it far easier for upright men or women to renounce their integrity to commit sin. Far easier to be angry and stay angry with those who irk or hurt us. Far easier to withhold forgiveness. The grass as they say is greener on the other side. Is it now really?

Here is the truth! Because we follow the way, the truth and the life! We renounce all sin because we choose life! And there is no life without the Lord our God present in our lives. We who walk humbly with Him know that it through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ alone that we have life to the full. In His great mercy and love He has forgiven us our many heinous sins against Him. And it is a sin therefore to withhold our mercy from all who have hurt us. For He our loving Lord did not withhold His mercy. In forgiving we ourselves are set free. That is why Jesus our Lord says that we have leave our offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother or sister first, and only then come back and present our offering.  For our greatest offering is a humble contrite spirit who loves the Lord our God first above all else with all our heart, mind, soul and strength; with that same love for Him we must love our brethren. Amen

First reading

Ezekiel 18:21-28 ·

I prefer to see the wicked man renounce his wickedness and live

Thus says the Lord:

    ‘If the wicked man renounces all the sins he has committed, respects my laws and is law-abiding and honest, he will certainly live; he will not die. All the sins he committed will be forgotten from then on; he shall live because of the integrity he has practised. What! Am I likely to take pleasure in the death of a wicked man – it is the Lord who speaks – and not prefer to see him renounce his wickedness and live?

    ‘But if the upright man renounces his integrity, commits sin, copies the wicked man and practises every kind of filth, is he to live? All the integrity he has practised shall be forgotten from then on; but this is because he himself has broken faith and committed sin, and for this he shall die. But you object, “What the Lord does is unjust.” Listen, you House of Israel: is what I do unjust? Is it not what you do that is unjust? When the upright man renounces his integrity to commit sin and dies because of this, he dies because of the evil that he himself has committed. When the sinner renounces sin to become law-abiding and honest, he deserves to live. He has chosen to renounce all his previous sins; he shall certainly live; he shall not die.’

Gospel

Matthew 5:20-26

Anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘If your virtue goes no deeper than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.

    ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you: anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; if a man calls his brother “Fool” he will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and if a man calls him “Renegade” he will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. I tell you solemnly, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.’

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