Reflections - February 12, 2017

“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”  Mt. 5:20.
A few days ago I saw a TV documentary on how juvenile gangs tried to explain the social and family context in which these violent groups live.  It also presented the participation of religious groups and how these groups changed the life of some of these young people with spiritual counseling.  At the end of the program one of the young ex-gang members said something that caught my attention.  He said:  “I felt free to choose and I apparently thought that I was good but had no noble goals or personal discipline and was held hostage to my whims and my selfishness”.  When I hear these words from the young man I remembered the words from the First Reading from the Book of Sirach (Ecclesiasticus):  “Before man are life and death”. Sir 15:17.
We are free to choose death, which is sin, or life, which brings fruits of justice and conversion.  To “choose life” is to know my motivations to know me and be able to act with justice.  Our justice must “surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees”.  It must always be that of Jesus, the Son of God, not of man.
Jesus, the new legislator, teaches us a style of life, a behavior that is not a world of hatred and resentment that we sometimes live from the moment we leave our homes, on the road, at work and that also reflects in some medias of communication.
So now the question would be:  How can we live that Christian lifestyle that sometimes means “swimming against the current” all the time?  Perhaps the answer to many of our spiritual concerns is to ask ourselves:  Which God do we believe in?  What idea do we have about Jesus Christ and His message?  Do we feel committed to Him or do we practice our faith “part-time”?  How do we nourish our faith?  How much time do we spend praying every day?  Do we analyze what our intentions are in our relationship with others?  A good serious spiritual therapy could sometimes be to:  Purify our intentions” to reflect Christ.
As Christians we are called to make history in this world breaking pagan schemes.  Before us is “life and death”.  Remember:  “To Choose life is to make a preferential option for love”, that is the key.  When the love of Christ makes life in us then our faith will live in “full-time” and will change the way we see others and there will be no limits to love and to practice justice following the example of Christ who gave His life unconditionally for all.
Let us pray to the Lord in the Eucharist to help us choose life and to practice justice in our family and in the community.