Today, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (5: 20-26) in which Jesus implores his disciples to settle differences and to be reconciled to others before going to court or offering a gift at the altar.
In this Gospel today, Fr Paul says, Jesus is setting a new standard for his disciples. As a Christian our virtue, which is mentioned at the beginning of the Gospel, the standard of who we are and what we do, must be deeper than that of the Scribes and Pharisees. It must go beyond a mere observance of the Law. Having stated there is this new standard, Jesus sets out six ways in which we can go beyond the Law, beyond the Old Testament. The first and last of these six ways are about love and the practice of love.
As we have heard in today’s Gospel, if we are fighting or have a grudge towards another, if there is a relationship that is experiencing pain, then we must be reconciled.
Fr Paul says, if you look and listen again to this passage, it is the very reason we exchange the gift of peace at our Mass before we receive communion. It is where we get the idea for offering each other a sign of peace before receiving communion, the sacrifice Jesus has made.
As Fr Paul concludes he suggests we ask ourselves, ‘Is there someone in my life that I need to reconcile with?’