Jesus reveals His new high expectations of holiness that He calls men to pursue. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of the Fear of the Lord from the Holy Spirit so he can reject immorality and pursue holiness and by seeking the Gift of Knowledge so he can know and better keep The 10 Commandments. 

Liturgy

6th Week in Ordinary Time – Sunday – Cycle A – Mt 5:17-37

Commentary

Having described the demands and blessings of holiness in The Beatitudes and the need for men to spread the Gospel, Jesus continues His Sermon on the Mount by reaffirming the absolute moral demands of The 10 Commandments. But Jesus reveals that keeping the Commandments requires, not only conforming outer behaviors, but even conforming even inner thoughts to the Commandments, requiring an astounding inner conversion of the heart. 

Jesus starts with the stunning revelation that He fulfills the Law and the Prophets (a shorthand reference to the entire Old Testament), revealing He perfectly keeps the entire Old Testament and is without sin. As a Person of the Trinity, the Son of God conceived and issued the Law and Prophets, and now, Jesus confirms their absolute binding demands, revealing not the “smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter” will be ignored, a cryptic allusion to the Judgment. Jesus calls every man to an impossibly high standard, for every man sins, and will later reveal that only through God’s mercy can any man enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 

While the Old Covenant emphasized avoiding outer sinful behaviors, Jesus reveals that men are held to the incredibly higher standard of eradicating even sinful inner thoughts. Rather than simply not killing others, Jesus commands men to refrain from anger in their hearts and to reconcile with others. Rather than refraining from adultery, Jesus commands men to not even entertain lust in their hearts. Rather than using corruptions of the Law to divorce and remarry, Jesus commands men to refrain from divorce and remarriage, or they shall be guilty of adultery. Rather than only telling the truth when a man is under oath, Jesus commands men to simply tell the truth all the time. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Consider with holy fear, the exceptionally high moral demands of Jesus: Divine King, Jesus confirms the binding demands of The 10 Commandments on all men across time; Divine Prophet, Jesus binds men to even higher demands by requiring that men must now also keep The 10 Commandments inside their minds and hearts, and gives specific examples, rebuking unrighteous anger, lust, divorce and all sexual sin, and lying; Divine Judge, Jesus confirms that those who violate the laws, either by outer actions or inner thoughts, will be judged and severely punished (Hell, prison, restitution).

Fear the Lord and reject immorality

Realize: In the increasing darkness of a world that no longer knows or fears God, growing numbers of men are confused about what is right and wrong and do not even understand what it means to  be “moral”; to be moral (Latin, moralis, meaning “proper behavior for a man in society”) is to understand good and evil, and to choose to do the good. 

Believe: Reflect upon The Moral Law (CCC 1949-1986). 

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of The Fear of the Lord so I have a visceral knowledge that mortal sin leads to Hell, recognize my moral weakness, and have a soul-deep fear of ever being separated from the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit because of sin; Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Seek the Spirit to keep the Commandments

Realize: Because God binds men to keep the Moral Law, God gives The 10 Commandments, and Jesus comes to explain and demonstrate them to men. 

Believe: Reflect upon The 10 Commandments (CCC 2052-2082).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so The 10 Commandments are embedded in my mind, guide my every moral decision, and I keep the Commandments in all my thoughts, words and deeds.