Our holiness must surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees.

Thursday Tenth Week of Ordinary Time

II Corinthians 3:15-4:1, 3-6

Matthew 5:20-26

All of us know what it is like to wear a veil over our faces. I do not think anyone desires to go back and wear a mask when we go outside of our homes. We like seeing people’s full faces. Our readings are about taking away the veil of our spiritual lives.

In our first reading, St. Paul says that the Israelite people have a veil over their faces as they cannot see Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He continues by saying the role of the Spirit in our lives is to remove the veil that prevents us from seeing Christ in all of his wholeness in our lives.

In our Gospel, Jesus says to his disciples, “Your holiness must surpass the righteousness of the scribes and the Pharisees.” This would be equivalent in modern times as saying, “You holiness needs to surpass St. John Paul II or St. Mother Theresa.”

Jesus continues by saying, “You shall not kill.” It seems pretty obvious that I would hope all of us would not have to leave the church right now because we just murdered someone. However, then Jesus says, “But I say If you have even gotten angry, or short-tempered, or thoughts evil thoughts against someone, leave your gift at the altar and go and be reconciled.” Now how many of us would need to leave the altar and go and be reconciled?

My friends in Christ, let us remove our veils of hatred and anger by bending and kneeling before the Lord and asking for the strength to be holy and be reconciled.

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