Every year, every month, every day, we must make choices. Some good and some bad, but regardless these choices have affected us or formed us into what we call today-the present. Choosing to go to school, choosing to stay late at work, choosing to spend time with others, choosing to go shopping, choosing to plan an event. Some choices, if not made could have a bad 'recoil.' Like paying bills and/or shopping, or cleaning the house. So they are choices that we have to do for survival. (in a sense) We are always faced with choices- from childhood to adulthood we are surrounded with choosing things.
The first reading for this weekend states the main (and most important) decision we must all make. We must choose between fire and water. The choice of heaven or hell. The choice of following God or the devil. Doing good or evil. The first reading says it plainly: Fire or water?(no not the kind of Pokemon we want) Life or death. We will be given whatever we agree to. God gave us this free will. God initiated.God planned. All of us were meant to live in harmony with God like the first male and female. It is through original sin- the disobedience of God that we are now given this free will.
Many people can become confused when reading todays Second reading. It is directly the next verses from last weekends readings. Many reflections posted online state the Paul is contradicting himself from last week. He was against wisdom and now he supports it? Not exactly. Last week Saint Paul is saying, to the people, to those whom don't know Christ, don't speak by human wisdom but give them examples. This week he is saying that to those whom are at a maturity speak wisdom. The people he is talking to would not be at the spiritual maturity that Paul is metaphorically speaking. To those whom are spiritually Mature speak wisdom! They know the power of Christ, but to the rulers and other do not speak of human wisdom.
In the Gospel this weekend, Jesus is NOT disregarding the law, but rather he is building upon it. He now has told us that we are the salt and light of the world but now he describes how to be the Salt and Light of the world. He is teaching us how. Jesus goes through the law and extended and explains there meaning. In every situation, Jesus starts off with, " You have heard it said " and starts his addition by saying, " I say to you" He is talking to us the 'spiritually mature'
The Gospel, is Jesus' way of being a Parent. Jesus wishes all of us to choose him. He wants us to come and live with him. But he cannot force us. He is like a parent stopping a child from putting a fork into a plugged in toaster. Jesus knows that the result will be bad. So he teaches us the bad and it's consequences. When Jesus states, "If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off" is clearing an exaggeration. He doesn't want us cutting off our body parts. It is way of slapping our hands before we put the item into the toaster.
Firstly, Jesus introduces the topic of murder. He states the not only is murder itself a sin, but the anger and hate we build up before the murder is also a sin. It is also a terrible thing. Then Jesus tells us, when we go to offer our sacrifice at the altar, and we have wronged a brother and sister, we need to, before hand, go and reconcile with them so that our sacrifice is pure. ( This is why we have the sign of peace before we receive the Eucharist. We should be calling to mind that person we have hurt or at pains with and make it so that we are shaking hands with them. It is a time to forgive and reconcile not to have fellowship)
Secondly, Jesus talks about adultery and divorce. That if we look at a person with lust that is committing adultery in it's self. And divorce, Jesus says that if you divorce your wife for no reason except unchasity, then you have caused adultery on your self and upon her. This therefore, shows that in the actions before and during are a sin also. Whereas, the time law only meant the action it's self.
Finally Jesus talks about making vows. That we should not swear by our forehead, or Jerusalem, ( which were used to avoid swearing by Gods name) or by the name of God. If we make a vow or we answer something let a Yes be a Yes and a No be a No. Do not sugar coat our answers. Let us be honest and make decisions with a full Yes or a full no!
We must make decisions all our life. And all our life we have one choice that remains : Fire or Water. God or the devil. Life in God or death in the devil. The purifying Water or the the agony of hell. We are the Spiritually Mature when we follow Christ. When we choose Christ. We know spiritual wisdom because of the spirit. Jesus today, is teaching us to choose life. To be the light. To always be the light and salt of the world. And that, in every decision we make, say it with either a full hearted YES or No. Yet Jesus yearns for us and is calling us to say a full YES to him. +