Homily (Reflection) for Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time (II) (9th June, 2016) on the Gospel
(Saint Ephrem, Deac. D, Opt Mem)

1Kg 18:41-46;
Ps 64:10-13. (R. v.2);
Matt 5:20-26.

Topic: The cut-off mark.

Jesus taught in today’s gospel that His disciples’ righteousness must exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees to make the kingdom of heaven. The ancients were forbidden to commit murder but Jesus said that whoever is angry with a brother or sister is liable to judgement, whoever insults will be liable to the council, and whoever calls another a fool will be liable to hell of fire. May be to show how serious these are Jesus said further,

So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first reconcile to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.

Obviously, more is expected of Jesus’ disciples to make the kingdom of heaven than of the old. One wonders, ‘If Jesus is to teach afresh today, what could He possibly expect of us?’ Surely, being angry with others, insulting or calling others all sorts of names make no sense today. Again, one should leave his/her offerings before the altar and go to reconcile with his/her brother or sister first. Purses among so many other things keep leaving churches daily when their real owners are still in the churches. Only God knows where any offering kept before the altar will be when the person who kept it returns.

It is true that things keep falling apart but Jesus has not changed the cut-off mark He gave. Therefore whoever would make the kingdom of heaven must cross the cut-off mark.

Bible Reading: Ezek 36:16-32; Heb 4:1-13.

Thought for today: Those who are ready will enter heaven, cf. Rev 21:27. 22:14.

Let us pray: Lord, help us in our struggle to make the kingdom of heaven – Amen.

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