Today’s Gospel is quite long but so rich. At first, it can seem like Jesus is in a bad mood during these readings and is just calling people out left and right, condemning them. While these readings are very clear that Christ is making the Ten Commandments even harder than what people were used to, he isn’t doing this to spite or condemn them, he is telling them of his power.
Moses allowed divorce in the times of the Old Testament. Why was this allowed? Because people did not yet have the power of Christ. They did not have the grace that flows from the power of the cross. They lost their grace with original sin and had not received power from Jesus.
However, the people in the Gospel are different, and Jesus wants to make that known. The difference is himself and his power. You have heard not to commit adultery, but I say do not even lust. It can be easy to look at that as a condemnation, but I prefer to look at it as a call. It shows how far we are actually able to go if we believe in and accept grace from Christ.
In our original state in the garden, we had the grace of God and walked with him; after the fall, we lost it, all that remains is to gain it back. Thankfully this grace is a free gift, and we now live with the reality of Christ dying for our sins. All that is left for us to do is to be open and to ask for grace. This is what makes it possible for us to live in the way Jesus commands in the Gospel today. It gives us real power. This should give us great hope. Let’s take stock in that hope this week. God Bless!
Tommy Shultz is Director of Marketing for Ablaze ministries as well as Director of Evangelization for the North Allegan Catholic Collaborative. In these roles he is committed to bringing all those he meets into a deeper relationship with Christ. Tommy has a heart and a flair for inspiring people to live their faith every day. He has worked in various youth ministry, adult ministry, and diocesan roles. He has been a featured speaker at retreats and events across the country. His mission and drive have been especially inspired by St. John Paul II’s teachings. Tommy is blessed to be able to learn from the numerous parishes he visits and pass that experience on in his presentations. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.