Thursday, June 15, 2017

Jesus' Challenge to Love

Jesus said to his disciples:  I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.  "You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.  But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna.  Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.  Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny."  (Matthew 25: 20 – 26)

Today’s Gospel is one where we really see how difficult it is to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.  Jesus has raised the measurement of our love for one another for sure.  As I read it over this morning I was struck by the magnitude of what Jesus is asking of us.  If we take Jesus’ words literally then we are faced with the reality that Jesus is calling us to a complete transformation.  Jesus wants us to not just go through the motions of showing our love, he wants it to be real and genuine.  It is a task that becomes easier with God’s love for us.  It’s a simple yet radical way to live.

Pat Schifini, OSU

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