FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
10th Thursday of Ordinary Time
St. Anthony of Padua
June 13, 2019
WORD of the DAY
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 5: 20-26)
How shall I live this Word?
There are small-scale murders, which are perpetuated from day to day that we do not notice but of which we ourselves are the ruthless perpetrators. It happens when in ordinary relationships with others, we let anger prevail over patience; reproach over endurance, judgment over understanding, condemnation over acceptance. And it is without realizing it that we kill those around us, we who profess ourselves Christians, perhaps qualified Christians from whom the other expects exemplary behavior and a word of encouragement. Our conscience is not always felt to the point of perceiving what great stakes there are in play, in such ‘appeal sessions’ which cover meetings and everyday relationships. There will one day be the court of God that will judge us, but in the meantime we have this fundamental ‘code’ which is the Gospel, the word of Jesus that refers to daily battles, where all the people around us await a handshake and a covenant to be recognized as ‘friends’ in the name of love.
Troublesome people, perhaps because of the way they are or because of how I perceive them, are never missing and I will probably meet them again today. But I want to commit myself not to judge them ahead of time, not to remove them in the name of their presumed heaviness, and to look at them as Jesus looks at them!
The Voice of St. Augustine, Church Father
“Don’t say, “I’m just”, when you’re not! Then you will begin to be in the truth.
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