Thursday, February 10, 2011

Yes or No

Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time—A

Sirach 15:15-20
1Corinthians 2:6-10
Matthew 5:17-37

The choice is ours.

Drawing on God’s commands to the Israelites as communicated by Moses (Deuteronomy 30:15-20), today’s first reading from Sirach uses the word “choose” three times. “Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him,” we are told. We can either choose to trust in the ways of God or to trust in our own ways.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus emphasizes that he has not come to abolish the commandments given to the Israelites in the time of Moses, but to fulfill them—to deepen our understanding of them. God’s Word to us through the ages is made present to us in the person of Jesus. “I say to YOU” is a personal address by Jesus to each one of us.

His concern is that we live our lives by something more than merely observing rules of conduct or attempting to avoid breaking them. What counts is the spirit with which we do things. Love, after all, is a decision. It is choosing the good, choosing life.

When we do this, our eyes are opened more fully to the mysterious, hidden wisdom of God so that we can grow to maturity in the Spirit by following Christ.

May our “Yes” mean “Yes,” and our “No” mean “No.”

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