This week, Jesus tells us that we must examine our own inner selves, our attitudes and dispositions, virtues and faults, rather than judging others. What is in our hearts comes out in what and how we speak.
If our hearts are filled with kindness and compassion, those qualities will be evident in our speaking, just as beautiful, wholesome fruit comes only from healthy trees. And vice-versa. The Wisdom writer Sirach in the first reading agrees with this concept, that we will be judged by our words. Paul reminds us that the reward of discipleship is eternal life. Today’s psalm of thanksgiving and praise reminds us of God’s kindness and faithfulness, which we are to emulate in our thoughts, words, and deeds. We are known, each of us, by our own fruit.
Our Gospel today continues Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain, in which we heard Luke’s version of the Beatitudes. This week, Jesus gives us new “commandments,” telling us how to live and act in the world as his disciples, rooted in the radical love of God for humanity. It reminds us of his later speech about loving one another as he loves us, in other words with a God-like love, the kind we see in today’s psalm about God’s mercy. How else could we do as Jesus tells us by loving our enemies, which seems impossible, until we remember that God gave us the example of Jesus, who is like God but also like us? David understands this merciful love when he spares the life of his enemy in the first reading. Finally, Paul tells us that we will become like Jesus if we act as he did, as God does.
Congratulations! Welcome to the Kingdom!Rejoice and leap for joy! Sounds a little like Easter,doesn’t it? Well, in a very real way, it is. ThisSunday, the scriptures remind us that we areblessed and beloved, especially when we have difficultiesand don’t feel especially blessed. Jesusreminds us that God blesses us in our trials, so weshould trust in the saving power of God. We are“raised from the dead,” as it were, each time wearise from our hardships.READ MORE
Today’s readings recount three theophanies, or particular manifestations of God’s presence. The prophet Isaiah is caught up in a dramatic scene of heavenly worship, with a royal throne, burning embers, and seraphim singing, “Holy, holy, holy.” Isaiah is overwhelmed. In the responsorial psalm, the assembly adds its own worship to that of the seraphim: “In the sight of the angels, I will sing your praises, Lord” (Psalm 138:1).READ MORE