The Gospel according to Matthew (5:20-26)
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
Reflection: Who wants to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? All of us do of course! That should be our primary goal in life. And, along with that goal, we should seek to bring as many people with us as possible.
Too often we fail to see this as the ultimate goal in life. We fail to keep our eyes on Heaven as the primary reason we are here on Earth. It’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day satisfactions of what we may call the “mini goals” of life. These are goals such as entertainment, money, success, and the like. And we can often make these mini goals our only goals at times.
So how about you? What is your goal? What is it you strive for and seek throughout your day? If you honestly examine your actions throughout each day, you may be surprised that you are actually seeking unimportant and passing mini goals more than you realize.
Jesus gives us one bit of clear direction in this passage above on how to attain that ultimate goal of life—the Kingdom of Heaven. The path He points to is righteousness.
What is righteousness? It’s simply being real. Being authentic. Not fake. And most especially, it’s being real in our love of God. The Pharisees struggled with pretending they were holy and good followers of the will of God. But they were not very good at it. They may have been good at the acting job, and they may have convinced themselves and others, but they could not fool Jesus. Jesus could see through the fake veneer and perceive that which was underneath. He could see that their “righteousness” was only a show for themselves and others.
Action of the Day: Today, how about reflecting on your own righteousness—your honesty and sincerity in striving for holiness. If you want to keep Heaven as your ultimate goal, then you must also strive to make each daily mini goal an honest attempt at holiness. Seek God throughout the day.
One thought on “March 11th, 2022”
Thank you for the Deacon 5 Gospel Reflection’s email with the audio clip that I receive so early in the morning daily. Now I can listen to the Deacon 5”s Gospel reflection when I wake up too early in the morning. God Bless, hs