15 March 2019. Friday of the First Week of Lent
Reflection (Sem. Ivan Joseph F. Feniquito)
Rules and regulations are part of our society in order to maintain the peace and order of our country. There are certain rules that guide the people. In our country, we have sets of legislators who study and propose laws that will help in the service of the people. Laws are important, we need those to live a better life.
Today’s Gospel reminds us of the importance of the law, but Jesus invites us to the heart of the matter, to go the core of the law, to go beyond the law. In this chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark, Jesus teaches us not just to follow the law, but to know the qualities for a happier life that will lead us to holiness. Jesus teaches us the “beatitudes.” To follow the law is to live a life of happiness and love, not being rigid in interpreting and following the law. We may not be violating the commandments of not killing other people, but we can be angry and harbor grudges in our hearts. We may not be murderers but deep inside us, we can be “silent murderers” by cursing other people, being indifferent and apathetic in our relationships, gossiping and character assassination through the social networking sites.
We may wish to live a simple, peaceful and happy life, but in reality, we can be challenged by such temptations to commit sin. But when these things happen, Jesus reminds us to go beyond the law and express our lives based on love. For blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. When we experience anger, let it be without sin. We ask the grace of purity of heart in order to surpass this anger that might lead us to commit sin. In order to live a better life, we let ourselves be guided by the beatitudes. Love conquers anger and hatred. We ask our loving Father that our attitude may be attuned with Christ, the Prince of Peace and the Cradle of Love. Amen
The Gospel Today
Jesus said to his disciples:
“I tell you,
unless your righteousness surpasses that
of the scribes and Pharisees,
you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”