Have you chosen?

by Shiu Lan
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Sirach 15:15-20

1 Corinthians 2:6-10

Matthew 5:17-37

In this Sunday's Gospel Reading, Jesus taught us how we should keep the Commandments. It is much more than not doing the forbidden action. For example “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:13) covers a much wider spectrum of behavior than the act of killing someone. Behavior such as “one who is angry with their brother or sister”, “whoever insults their brother or sister” and “whoever says ‘You fool'” (Gospel, Mat 5:22) are all liable to judgement in the kingdom of heaven.

Jesus is right. Look at the world around us. Is it not anger, insults and calling people names that cause arguments and fights between neighbors, unrest in societies and turmoil and wars between countries and peoples? Then the act of killing someone or massive killing of people happens.

Jesus offers us a solution too. His solution is to be reconciled with our neighbor. It is even more important than making an offering to God. Jesus said, “So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” (Gospel, Mat 5:23-24). If every one of us does this, can this world not be a better place?

This is Jesus' teaching, whether to follow it is our choice. God has given us the free will to choose as revealed to us through the author of the Book of Sirach in no uncertain terms: “If you choose, you can keep the commandments, and they will save you.” and “whichever one chooses, that shall be given.” (First reading, Sirach 15:15, 17).

I have chosen, have you?