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6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 12, 2017

OUR CAPACITY FOR LOVE

In our Gospel today, Jesus tells us that unless our righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and the Pharisees, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Righteousness, it seems to me, often carries a bit of weight, but it is best understood as “right relationship”.  In other words, unless we are in right relationship with God, we will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  It makes sense, but it helps to flesh this out a little more.

We have been challenged by the Gospel in this vain over the past few weeks.  It has called us to be servants, people of the Beatitudes, Salt and Light . . . and NOW the Gospel is calling us to a greater degree of righteousness than that of our teachers and leaders!

As I said a few weeks ago, what we have received is but a starting place.  Our ancestors received the law, but it alone was not given to save us.  What Jesus is now offering, not only saves but brings us joy.  The challenge is to move beyond our own legalism.  To move beyond a fear of punishment.  To go beyond a sense of obligation.  The sacrifice that Christ demands does not just transform our suffering, but ultimately allows us to live with a freedom and joy that often seems out of reach.

CLICK HERE for the readings for the Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Sirach 15:15-20; Psalm 119; 1 Corinthians 2:6-10; Matthew 5:17-37)

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