2020-02-166th Sunday of Ordinary TimeRev. Msgr. Michael J. Motta, D.Min.

We often see Jesus in conflict with the Pharisees who were very concerned with religious law. The Pharisees accused Jesus and his followers with violating these sacred laws.

Jesus responds that he has not violated those laws.

Most of us would consider ourselves law-abiding citizens. We have never committed murder or rape. We have never robbed a bank.

But, perhaps we should re-examine our thinking in what Jesus had to say.

In the Old Testament the commandment says: "You shall not commit murder". Jesus was concerned not simply with the letter of the law but with the spirit of God's law. We may not have taken another's life but how many times have we abused another by our words or behavior.

Another commandment says: "You shall not commit adultery". Legally the commandment means not getting sexually involved with another human being. Jesus wants more from us. He wants us to be pure. He does not want us to treat others as sex objects.

Finally, in the time of Jesus, if a person took a binding oath he was obligated to keep his word. It is not all that different today. If a person testifies in court he is obligated to tell the truth. If a person signs a legal contract he is obligated to keep it.

Jesus says, "Why don't we always tell the truth". If you give a person your word, keep it!

We may be law-abiding citizens but God wants more from us than simply keeping the 10 commandments. When we measure our lives by the standards of Jesus Christ we often come up short in what we do or fail to do on behalf of others.

Sometimes, it is difficult to be a true Christian but if we try, we will be rewarded by Jesus with everlasting life in heaven.

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