June 10, 2016

Gospel MT 5:27-32
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.”
Reflection:
Jesus said to his disciples:
“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.”
I don’t think it is coincidental that Jesus talks about lust, adultery and divorce together here.
God, our Father, did not give us the Ten Commandments to make life more difficult. He gave them to us because He loves His children.
He wants for us, what we want for our own children and grandchildren; a peaceful, loving and contended life.
Entertaining lust may well lead to adultery, which may lead to divorce, turmoil and unhappiness in the family.
“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.”
I don’t think Jesus is telling us to literally tear our eye out.
Instead, He is sending us the age old wisdom every parent gives to their child who is constantly taking risks: Those who play with fire are more likely to get burned.
And, the consequences of playing with fire often results in Gehenna, Hell on Earth, for everyone involved.
The Commandments were not given by a God who waits with stick in hand ready to punish the child who breaks them.
Jesus encourages us to use God’s gift of free will to make choices in keeping with the guidance we receive through the Ten Commandments.
The Commandants were given to us by a loving Father who is trying to help us avoid having to deal with the consequences of surrendering to our own desires and actions.

“All human sin seems so much worse in its consequences than in its intentions.” –
Reinhold Niebuhr