“If you are not more righteous than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:20)
Today’s Passages: Mt 5:20-26; Ez 18:21-28
Meditation: Today’s meditation passages help us to renew ourselves and lead a fruitful Christian life during this Lenten season. It is easy to blame on others every now and then for our sins and problems in life and find justification for them. It is heard that many Christians in these days find themselves justified and satisfied by putting blame on their forefathers for their difficulties and problems in life and begin doing penances for them. This is not in any way appropriate for an authentic Christian life.
The first reading clearly exhorts us that each one is primarily responsible for one’s own life. God’s does not want the death of a sinner, rather his life. Therefore, each one has to decide on his own accord whether he should choose good or not. If he chooses good, he naturally lives; whereas if he chooses evil, he will die. He puts before us good and evil, life and death, it is we who decide the either. The punishment is not above all something from outside, rather it is from inside.
The word of the Lord says, “This is the judgment, that the light has come into the world and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For whoever does wrong hates the light and does not come to the light for fear that his deeds will be shown as evil.” (Jn 3:19, 20) Here the judgment is not something imposed upon but it is the result of my free choice. Hence, it is the right time to take a decision as to salvation and live. For God promises, “He will live and not die, because he has opened his eyes and turned away from the sins he had committed.” (Ez 18:28)
Here the norm is not the other and his doing rather God himself. You will not be justified even if you have followed the teachings of the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. In the gospel reading, Lord Jesus says, “If you are not more righteous than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:20) Therefore, God alone has to be our norm of our life; no one or nothing else.
As the word of the Lord says, “Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the sake of the joy reserved for him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb 12:2) The lives concentrated on Jesus and his words will not be left to peril. In that way, may this Lenten season be a fruitful and blessed one to all of us.
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. O Lord, send your Spirit upon us so that we may be properly led by him and inherit the kingdom of God. Sometimes we are attracted to the false teachers and prophets who guide us only to the letters of the law, not to its spirit. Make us surrender to the word of God and live an authentic Christian life. We ask for this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Greetings: God is with you! Wish you a blessed and fruitful Lenten Friday!