021020 Ordinary Time 6 A

The gospel, from the Sermon on the Mount, introduces the Law of Jesus alongside the Law of Moses. They are not counter poised. They are movement on a continuum for the disciples of Jesus into the knowledge of God which is eternal life. Jesus introduces the following sayings with his commentary on the Law: 1. He is fulfilling the law that will endure even in its smallest parts even of a single letter. 2. He speaks of righteousness, not something the individual achieves on their own, but as a pure gift from God. Here the Law is seen as gift which human society works together for the common good to fulfill the Law.

Then follows six examples of Jesus’ interpretation of the Law and his sayings to advance the Law. Six times he takes a significant Law by introduction and amplification. ?First, “you have heard that was said . . . ” followed by “but I say to you . . . “He offers the Law, and its development in the reign of God.

Only the first four of this pattern is in the Gospel this Sunday with the last two coming the very next Sunday OT 7 A. These last two are definitely the most challenging and difficult, especially the saying on revenge which is completely and totally misunderstood of all these sayings.

Fulfilling the Law remains a huge concern for the Catholic today as we lapse in canonical laws to save or a deviant form of liturgical righteousness. Very few Cathoics would hold the notion of fulfilling the law by going down deeper into the fullest meaning of the Law. For example, the Catechism makes the longest commentary on the 7th Commandment — “Thou shall not steal .” This includes a living wage for the poor as an act of justice, oetherwise we’ve stolen from the. The portion of the Catechism has many excellent example of stealing.

Alan Hartway

Theological Studies at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL; Master of Fine Arts, Poetics, at Naropa University, Boulder CO 1996; Master of Arts, Greek Classics, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 2012; Taught at Naropa University from 1999 through 2015; Chair of Interdisciplinary Studies from 2007-2015; Member of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Kansas City Province since 1974; Pastor at Guardian Angel Catholic Church, Mead, CO, ministry from 2007-2020 Currently Retired

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