Friday of the 1st Week of Lent Vendredi de la 1ere semaine de Carême

“If your Justice does not surpass that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
Saturday 14 March 2015

Ez. 18, 21-28 Ps. 129 Mt. 5, 20-26

“Jesus said to he Pharisees : ’You have heard how it was said: ’You shall not kill, and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. but I say this to you, anyone who is angry with his brother will answer for it before the court; anyone who calls a brother: ’Fool!’ will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and anyone who calls him ’Traitor!’ will answer for it in hell fire.”

Jesus is a Master who helps us discern the movements of our hearts! In fact, spite is different from anger, which is other than irritation, which is different again from turmoil. To light a fire we have at first just a small piece of coal. This is represented by the word of a brother who may have offend us! It is still just a small piece of coal for what is a simple word from our brother? If we can’t stand it we put it out. If, on the other hand, we begin thinking “Why did he say that to me? I am going to answer him.” This is as though we light a fire, throwing in little sticks that will go on fire : disturbances! Jesus wants us to discover the goodness of a heart in the image and resemblance of God’s heart! Because of our hardness of heart, when we think badly of our brother we do him wrong and this can leave a place in our heart for the devil of lies. We give up trusting God and so our thoughts are no longer on the same wave length as those of God. We are in disharmony with Him.

In putting up with the word of our brother, we can put out the coals before the troubles begin. We can easily pacify this disturbance by silence, by prayer, by a mere movement of the heart. If on the contrary we continue to fan the smoke,

that is, to exalt and excite our hearts by thinking : “Why did he say that? I too can tell him a thing or two!” , then the afflux and shock of thoughts heat the heart provoking the flame of irritation and soon irritation does indeed surface. The Word of God is a Light that helps bring about a deep conversion in one’s heart. God proposes that we love those people who persecute us, so that our hearts may be purified, becoming immaculate in the image of the Heart of Jesus. The malice and nastiness of sinful hearts slow down the Salvation of God. Sin is a closing in on one’ self that closes us off to love, it is an obstacle to love. A large proportion of our brothers in the world go through persecution, so we want to sustain them by becoming brothers and sisters who love each other. We bring them support through true prayer, for God makes us beloved children of the Father. It is in this Love that we build up the plan of God’s Love for the world.