I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Reflection for Sunday February 12, Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time; Matthew 5:17-37

Gospel:Matthew 5:17-37
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter 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. 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.

“You have heard that it was said, You shall not commit adultery. But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right  eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.

“It was also said, Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce. But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife -  unless the marriage is unlawful - causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

“Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,' and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’Anything more is from the evil one.”
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Imagine a world without laws, there would be no order; there would be chaos and anarchy. Imagine life without following the laws of your country. And let us imagine ourselves not being faithful to the teachings of God. There would also be disorder in our lives; we will have no peace of mind.

In our first reading according to Sirach, we are given choices,  life and death, good and evil. We are made to choose whichever we like. If we like death and evil, it’s really up to us; if we like good and life, it’s also upon our hands. God gave us the freedom but this freedom is not absolute because He wants us to carefully discern our choices. For example if we choose death disguised as fulfillment of the law over life or evil desires over good where would these faulty choices bring us?

But what if we choose life and we choose to do good. Of course we would have peace of mind we will not be bothered by our conscience for the reason that we followed what God wants us to do. And this is absolutely what God wants us to always do in our lives!

For example in our gospel, Jesus gives us teachings about Anger (Matthew 5:21-26), teachings about Adultery (Matthew 5:27-30) and teachings about Divorce (Matthew 5:31-32). Just imagine if we will follow all of these teachings. There would be peace and serenity in our lives most specifically in our married lives. But are we following these teachings or laws of Jesus?

These laws were given to us by Jesus to serve as our lighthouse as we continue to sail in this world. We follow these commands not because we fear it. We follow it because we love Jesus who is the spirit behind His laws. Therefore if we follow we’ll have peace in our lives and we’ll be much closer to Jesus in this world and beyond this world.

Imagine a peaceful life and imagine a life very close to Jesus, would you not want to have it? – Marino J. Dasmarinas  

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