The Pastor's Desk
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time-Like last week, today's Gospel is a communication of the "Sermon on the Mount ". It presents more applications of last week's principle that "our holiness must surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees". Jesus does this by taking on one of human nature's most basic instincts - violence and revenge. In recalling one of the oldest written laws in the world, the :Law of Talion" - "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," we are reminded that the purpose of that law, as primitive as it was, was to get even, but not to go beyond the damage that was done. The "law of Talion" was meant to make the human race more civilized, and Jesus' response, his new law, was to make us more neighborly. It is a giant step forward and a challenge that many people find very hard to fulfill. However, with it, a new world order began; a new way of relating to one another. It is not based on rights but on our relationship as God's children, as brothers and sisters. Peacemaking and care for creation are not meant to be hobbies or pastimes by essential tasks of every Christian person. To "be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect" doesn't mean to be without flaws or even sin, but to strive to become like God who overflows with compassion because, as St.Paul reminds us today, "we are temples of God's presence in our world; that we belong to Christ and Christ to God!"
Peace and all good things!Fr. John