MT 5: 17-37




The late pope, St. John Paul II, became controversial in his time when he taught that a man who forces his wife to have relations with him against her will commits the sin of adultery. Some people were incredulous. How could he say that when those two were already married? Others were furious. What right has he to judge an extremely private matter?


Today it becomes clear to us that the Gospel has eyes. The Gospel sees us and through us right into our hearts. The words of the Lord provide us with a new way of seeing things. Where we have a tendency to gloss over the surface, the Gospel penetrates deeper into it. Where we have a tendency to fixate on the law, the Gospel reaches into the inner meaning of the law. The Lord clearly said it. He did not intend to break the law but to fulfill it; meaning to say, to uncover the vast, expansive and insightful directions the law points to us.


We might think it is right to be angry but the gospel shows that while there are legitimate reasons for one’s anger, at the root of it can be utter hatred. People who are angry live in unforgiveness. And to be unforgiving is to daily die. Something deep within the angry person dies and it affects not only himself but others as well.


We might believe that lust is perfectly natural and normal, and biology affirms this for us. But the gospel sheds light on the struggle that happens in the heart when lust takes over. It reminds us that focusing only on our desires can jeopardize faithfulness, promote possessiveness, intensifies attachments, and makes us slaves of our own selves.


We might insist that swearing gives us credibility. The gospel’s eyes reveal that many oaths can be used to simply hide the truth, to further deception, and to destroy sincerity in relationships.


In the Lord Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, he brings to light the true intentions of hearts. He illuminates our path towards being more free, more authentic, more like him. The gospel has eyes and these eyes look straight into our hearts.

#ourparishpriest 2023