Gospel: Matthew 5:38-48

Catechism: 443, 1693, 1825, 1933, 1968, 2013, 2054, 2262, 2303, 2608, 2828, 2842, 2844

Comment:   While 1933 uses this passage in the context of social justice (love children and the poor) and 1968 articulates how Jesus fulfills the commandments of the law, a handful of paragraphs use this gospel to emphasize the fact that Christians are called not to strict adherence of a Law, but to something even more intimidating: perfection.  This universal call to holiness lies at the heart of the Second Vatican Council’s Lumen Gentium, as cited in 2013: “In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ’s gift, so that … doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.”

2608 speaks of the necessity of our conversion of heart.  This conversion is filial, as it is “entirely directed to the Father.”  As we dwell on our own ongoing conversion of heart this Sunday, eagerly striving for perfection while painfully aware of the reality that we will not attain it this side of eternity, perhaps we can also reflect on the filial affection for the Father that ought to complement this journey.    

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