THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE CALL TO HOLINESS
RECONCILIATION AND HOLINESS
February 23, 2018
Today’s gospel: Matthew 5:20-26
The Pharisees were very meticulous in their observance of
the law. But they were legalistic and hypocritical, sticking
to the letter but not the spirit of the law. We cannot be
that way. Jesus says to us, “unless your righteousness
surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not
enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (v.20).
pushes the boundaries of the law. The law says, “You
shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.”
(v.21b). Jesus says, “whoever is angry with his brother
will be liable to judgment” (v.22a). Does this mean
we can never get angry at a wrong done by a brother? Yes we
can. But we are not to resort to judgmental name-calling (see
v.22b). And we are to take responsibility for trying to be
are all part of God’s family; we are brethren in Christ;
we are instruments of the Spirit in the needed work of the
Kingdom. Thus we must strive to be united in mind and heart.
Though there will be instances when we hurt each other or
are disappointed with each other, we must not allow this to
break our bonds. Thus we must reconcile.
is so important to Jesus that he ties it in with our worship
before God. The ultimate gift to God is ourselves. Whether
it is in personal prayer, or community worship, or the Eucharistic
celebration, there must be no animosity among brethren. So
Jesus says, “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.”
a brother has anything against you, it must be for something
you did or failed to do, that hurt the brother. If you are
guilty as such, then it is indeed your responsibility to take
the initiative to be reconciled. But even if you think you
are not guilty, but you sense that your brother thinks so,
then it is still your responsibility to work at being reconciled.
That takes humility and a deep love for God and for brethren.
That is holiness.
imagine what would happen if we all took to heart what Jesus
instructs us. Then we can avoid strife and division among
brethren and in the community. Then we all can focus on the
mission given us, and be used by God as His holy instruments.