The Foundations

Gospel Reflection
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time  Year A
The Foundations

Often in our places of work, we check the foundations.  We get to the root causes of why something is malfunctioning.  In manufacturing, there is usually a machine that has gone wrong that is causing problems further down the line.  The same is true in our relationships with one another.  Usually, when we are having a little trouble with someone, there is a misunderstanding – something not communicated well.  Or there is a fear or aversion to something that is causing us to not be on the same page.

In our gospel Jesus says, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets.  I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.”  How did Jesus “fulfill” the law and the prophets?  He came not to undo the law and commandments, but to intensify them and deepen them.  Jesus focuses on the interior motivations for keeping the law.  Four times he says, “You have heard that it was said…” and “But I say to you….”  Each time, he exhorts his listeners and followers to examine themselves interiorly. 

For example he says that we have heard that we should not kill.  But then Jesus says that “whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to the Sanhedrin; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.”  Killing is the ultimate expression of anger, but this anger originates in our hearts.  We must look deep within in order to root this anger out.  We do this well when we get to the deepest ground of our whole being where we realize that we are loved by God.  There we realize our connectedness with our brother or sister who is also loved by God.  When we think of the interior life of the person with whom we harbor resentment, we realize that they want to be happy too.  We realize that they like us, have areas in our lives in which we do not fully yet know God, where God has not fully touched, and where further knowledge of God must take place.

Follow Jesus to the interior place to which he brings us.  Allow him to help you examine yourself and to cleanse your interiority.

Father Tony