Today’s homily is lectio brevis because our parish mission speaker presented the first of his talks at Mass today.
Today, very briefly, I want to talk to you about our need for repentance, reconciliation, and forgiveness. Jesus makes it very clear in today’s Gospel that the spirit of the law is worth focusing on, because it is that spirit that will get us into heaven. This, quite frankly, is a frightening Gospel reading, because in it, Jesus raises the bar. We can’t just skate by if we’ve never murdered or had an abortion, and we’re liable if we have hated or refused to forgive. Even if we think we’re okay because we’ve never had an extramarital affair, every occasion of lust in our hearts has made us unfaithful. And just because we’ve lied under oath, we’ve still broken that commandment if we haven’t stood for the truth and made it our care to be known as an honest person with utmost integrity.
The grace is that we’re not lost in despair, even looking at these daunting rules. Living the Gospel is possible because of grace. Forgiveness is possible because of the Paschal Mystery. All we have to do is repent, to turn back, to seek forgiveness in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, and to pray for the grace to be lovers of the Gospel.