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All Issues > Volume 30, Issue 2

<< Sunday, February 16, 2014 >> 6th Sunday Ordinary Time
Sirach 15:15-20
1 Corinthians 2:6-10

View Readings
Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
Matthew 5:17-37

Similar Reflections


"You have heard the commandment, 'You shall not commit adultery.' What I say to you is: anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts.' " —Matthew 5:27-28

Jesus did not believe in working on the sabbath, but He did cause a controversy by healing on the sabbath. He was also not ultra-strict about washing His hands before eating (see Mt 15:2). Moreover, Jesus did not require His disciples to fast until after He ascended into heaven (see Mt 9:14ff). He also stopped an adulteress from being put to death (Jn 8:3ff).

Some people misunderstood Jesus' actions. They thought He was trying to be popular by being permissive. However, Jesus set the record straight by proclaiming: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets. I have come, not to abolish them, but to fulfill them" (Mt 5:17). Jesus then proceeded to set the highest moral standards in history. He condemned not only murder but growing angry (Mt 5:22). He forbade not only adultery but also lustful glances and thoughts (Mt 5:28). Jesus also opposed divorce although it was accepted in the Bible (Mt 5:32). He even commanded us to love our enemies and to offer no resistance to injury (Mt 5:44, 39).

Jesus is not permissive; He is impossibly demanding. We will be hopelessly frustrated in trying to fulfill Jesus' moral standards. Our only hope is to come to Jesus (see Mt 11:28) and turn our lives over to Him. We cannot meet His standards, but we can "let it be done" to us according to His word (see Lk 1:38). "He Who calls us is trustworthy, therefore He will do it" (1 Thes 5:24).

Prayer: Father, I must be, but cannot be, holy. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me from this impossible situation.
Promise: "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him." —1 Cor 2:9
Praise: Alleluia! Jesus has conquered death for us! Alleluia!
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2014 through March 31, 2014.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 8, 2013.
The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.
Volume 30, Issue 2
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