SBCA Home Red Homilies Red Homilies SIXTH SUNDAY of Ord Time - YEAR A (2017)
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Red Homilies

Audience: 11:00am mass SBCA Chapel
Sirach 15:15-20; 1 Cor 2:6-10; Mt 5:17-37
(by Fr Aelred Nilo, OSB)

Two Sundays ago we have reflected on the Beatitudes or what it means to be blessed. Jesus teaches us that life’s troubles and problems are actually challenges and opportunities. BE HAPPY, therefore, if FOR BEING CHRISTIANS you struggle with your faith.

Last Sunday, we are called to be salt and light of the world. We Christians are exhorted to BE AUTHENTIC DISCIPLES OF CHRIST, to give flavor to the life of others and to bring the light of faith to our neighbors and to the world

 

Today our scripture readings stressed the importance of the Law (Pentateuch) and the prophets in Christian living. Thus, we hear Jesus said to 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.” By the Law and the Prophets, Jesus refers to the moral code of the Old Testament (Pentaeuch) and the works of the Prophets.

The Jewish leaders were meticulous in the application of the laws to the extent that they became legalistic, lacking compassion and understanding. In their desire to be perfect, they became heartless and hypocritical. Instead of finding true happiness and joy in life, they became anxious, judgmental and fault finding.

An unknown author wrote, “EVERYTHING IS EASIER SAID THAN DONE. WANTING SOMETHING IS EASY. SAYING SOMETHING IS EASY. THE CHALLENGE AND THE REWARD ARE IN DOING.”

Many of us Christians thought that literal observance of laws from sacred scriptures (such as the Ten Commandments) make us holy and reflect the love of God in our lives. But FOR CHRIST HOLINESS IS MORE THAN MERE EXTERNAL OBSERVANCE OF THE LAWS.

Therefore, Jesus warned us his disciples, “I TELL YOU, IF YOUR VIRTUE GOES NO DEEPER THAN THAT OF THE SCRIBES AND PHARISEES, YOU WILL NEVER GET INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.”

One day a deputy sheriff assigned to courthouse security explained to visitors the court procedures. He was showing a group of ninth-graders around. Court was in recess and only the clerk and a young man in custody wearing handcuffs were in the courtroom. “This is where the judge sits,” the deputy sheriff said, pointing to the bench. “The lawyers sit at these tables. The court clerk sits over there. The court recorder, or stenographer, sits over here. Near the judge is the witness stand and over there is where the jury sits.” He concluded the tour saying, “As you can see, there are a lot of people involved in making this system work.” At that point, the prisoner raised his cuffed hands and said, "Yeah, but I’M THE ONE WHO MAKES IT ALL HAPPEN."

Doe Zantamata published the following quote on the internet, “When you read an inspirational quote and think, “EASIER SAID THAN DONE …” how will you finish the thought? 1) … so I’m not even going to bother. or 2) … BUT I’M WORKING ON IT AND WILL ALWAYS DO MY BEST UNTIL IT HAPPENS.”

According to Jesus, the Law isn't merely about external principles. As a matter of fact, God's Law corresponds to the ideal of perfection that is deeply rooted in the heart of every man.

This is the reason why those who keep the commandments not only achieve their human aspirations but also attains the perfection of the Kingdom of God (the perfection of Christianism). Thus Jesus said, “WHOEVER OBEYS THEM AND TEACHES OTHERS TO DO THE SAME WILL BE GREAT IN THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN” (Mt 5,:19).

Today’s Scriptures readings direct us to the ideals for Christian morality. Jesus forbids not merely murder, as the most extreme form of disregard for another person, but also lesser forms of injuring others. What unites the three faults he lists (losing one’s temper, using insulting names and of refusing to forgive) is that in each case another person’s feelings are trampled underfoot.

Dieter Friedrich Uchtdorf, a German aviator, airline executive and religious leader wrote, “When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: STOP IT!

JESUS ALSO STRESSED THE IMPORTANCE OF FORGIVENESS by the fact that it comes before strictly religious duties. So, the point Jesus makes is that ONE MUST RESPECT NOT SIMPLY PEOPLE’S RIGHT TO LIFE BUT ALSO THEIR RIGHT TO DIGNITY AND SELF-RESPECT.

Jesus’ purpose was not to command. Nor was it to propose an idealized ethic for disciples. Both approaches would serve only to motivate and activate the ego, and constitute a kind of “try harder”, “be holier”, ethic.

Vetty Guttierrez wrote, “Ano ibig sabihin ‘pag ikaw ay na kay kristo? KAY KRISTO AY PUEDE MONG MALAMAN ANG KOLOOBAN NG DIOS.”

The prisoner in our court story said, "Yeah, but I’M THE ONE WHO MAKES IT ALL HAPPEN."

Brothers and sisters, the Lord JESUS CHALLENGES US TO EMBARK ON A JOURNEY OF TRANSFORMATION EMPOWERED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD. The journey involves the discovery and liberation of the true self, made in the image of God.

A friend reminds me and sent me this message: “Think only good thoughts in whatever happens today, keep calm and smile! LIFE IS NOT A PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED BUT A GOD'S GIFT TO BE ENJOYED.”

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