Wednesday, February 9, 2011

February 13, 2011 – 6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Affair of the Heart

Sir 15:15-20  
(God never asks more of us than we are capable)

Psalm 119:1–2, 4–5, 17–18, 33–34   
(R.Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord!)

1 Corinthians 2:6–10   
(What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard . . . . )

Matthew 5:17–37  
(Revealing the deeper meaning and purpose of the Ten Commandments and the moral Law of the Old Testament)

MEMORY VERSE!  Matthew 5:19  
 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus tells us in the Gospel this week that he has come not to abolish but to “fulfill” the Law of Moses and the teachings of the prophets.

 Whenever I hear this, my mind plays a quick re-run of Godspell. I can hear:  "the law and the prophets, the law and the prophets, the law and the prophets!" As off track as that musical was at times - especially depending on the director and ensemble - it helped me in my faith journey as a kid. (Yes, I am THAT old!)

In the Gospel reading Jesus reveals the deeper meaning and purpose of the Ten Commandments and the moral Law of the Old Testament. But his Gospel also transcends the Law. Remember He came not to abolish but to “fulfill”.

He demands a morality far greater than that accomplished by the most pious of Jews, the scribes and Pharisees.

Outward observance of the Law is not enough. It is not enough that we do not murder, commit adultery, divorce, or lie.

The law of the new covenant is a law that God writes on the heart (see Jer. 31:31–34). The heart is the seat of our motivations, the place from which our words and actions proceed (see Matt. 6:21; 15:18–20).

Jesus, this week, calls us to train our hearts, to master our passions and emotions. And Jesus demands the full obedience of our hearts (see Rom. 6:17). He calls us to love God with all our hearts, and to do his will from the heart (see Matt. 22:37; Eph. 6:6)

God never asks more of us than we are capable. That is the message of this week’s First Reading.
~~~> The key to this, I believe, is that we can't and shouldn't attempt to handle anything alone. We need our God. It is prideful to shut Him out. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps? That is an incomplete secular command. We are capable WITH GOD's graces.
It is up to us to choose life over death, to choose the waters of eternal life over the fires of ungodliness and sin.
~~~~> We can only do this with God. Each and every decision we make takes us closer or farther from God. Each and every one.

By his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus has shown us that it is possible to keep his commandments. In baptism, he has given us his Spirit that his Law might be fulfilled in us (Rom. 8:4).
The wisdom of the Gospel surpasses all the wisdom of this age that is passing away, St. Paul tells us in the Epistle. The revelation of this wisdom fulfills God’s plan from before all ages.
Let us trust in this wisdom, and live by his Kingdom law.

As we do in this week’s Psalm, let us pray that we grow in being better able to live his Gospel, and to seek the Father with all our heart.

Scott Hahn, Ph.D.
Edited by me/Soutenus (all of my additions to Scott Hahn's commentary are in blue)  
Bolding is also my emphasis. Paragraph formatting and graphics -- also my addition.
I am so grateful to Scott Hahn for these Bible reflections based on the Sunday Readings. Our family uses them to help us prepare for Mass -- that preparation always includes some editing/re-arranging/bolding/notation/graphics to help us get the most out of his commentary. We post here for family and friend sharing & input.

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