Hard Words and Hard Hearts
Reflection on Mass Reading for June 16, 2017
“If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna (Hell).” (Gospel) These are hard words for us to hear from Jesus; hard to process and think about; hard because Jesus is addressing lust and adultery, which causes emotional pain and hurt to families, perhaps more than just about anything else.
Nobody wins when a family breaks apart under the horrible weight of painful pretense and broken dreams. Love is such a supreme and yes, even Divine gift, that any alteration or selfishness entering such a relationship can have destructive consequences. I know we have all endured some of these painful experiences, either directly or indirectly. Yet, it is precisely why Jesus is speaking about these, and why we cannot ignore what he has to say. We live in a world that is broken, and we pick up knocks and bruises as we go through, and if Jesus has something to say about all that, we need to tune in. If Jesus had nothing to say about things that cause us the most heartache, he’s not asking us to live in the real world when He calls us to follow him.
Love, not lust is at the basis of our heart. Truth, not lies is the very air our heart and soul needs to approach God and one another. When we give our heart to Jesus we are asking Him to allow us to love the way He does, completely, unselfishly, and purely. This is why daily prayer and the Eucharist are absolutely necessary for this spiritual approach to our human existence. What Jesus clearly wants for us is not natural; it is supernatural and only then will we be happy in this life waiting for the one which is to come.
Our anthem today is found in the Alleluia Verse from Philemon. “Shine like lights in the world, as you hold on to the Word of Life.” Read it out loud again, listen to your voice and never forget them.