No to warring among ourselves
The Jews spoke proudly about the Law of Moses. According to tradition, God himself had given it to his people. It was the best gift they had received from God. This Law embodies the will of the one true God. They can find there all they need to be faithful to God.
For Jesus too, the Law is important, yet it is no longer at the center. Jesus has and shares a different life experience: God’s reign is coming; the Father seeks to make his way among us in order to make a more human world. It is not enough for us to just keep the Law of Moses. It is necessary to open ourselves to the Father and to work with him to bring about a life where there is more fairness and in which we live as brothers and sisters.
That is why, according to Jesus, it is not enough to fulfill the law that commands: “You shall not kill.” It is also necessary to root out of our lives aggression, scorn for another person, insults or revenge. Someone who does not kill obeys the law; but if he is not free of violence, then still not reigning in his heart is this God who wants to build with us a world more fit for human beings.
According to some observers, spreading in today’s society is a language that reflects the increase of agression. Uttered more and more frequently are offensive insults, intended solely to humilitate, despise and hurt others. These are words that are born of rejection, resentement, hatred or revenge.
Moreover, conversations are often woven out of unjust words that spread condemnation around and sow suspicion. These words are spoken without love or respect. They poison fellowship and do harm. These are words that are born almost always of annoyance, meanness or baseness.
This is not just something that happens in our society. It is also a serious problem in today’s Church. It makes Pope Francis suffer to see divisions, conflicts and confrontations between “Christians” warring “with other Christians.” It is a situation so contrary to the Gospel that he has felt the need to address to us an urgent message: “No to warring among ourselves.”
The Pope speaks thus: “It always pains me greatly to discover how some Christian communities, and even consecrated persons, can tolerate different forms of enmity, division, calumny, defamation, vendetta, jealousy, and the desire to impose certain ideas at all costs, even to persecutions which appear as veritable witch hunts. Whom are we going to evangelize if this is the way we act?” The Pope wants to work for a Church in which “everyone admire[s] how you care for one another, and how you encourage and accompany one another.”
José Antonio Pagola
February 16, 2014
6 Ordinary Time (A)
Matthew 5, 17-37