Daily Gospel Reflection – Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mt 5:20-26
Jesus said to his disciples: “I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.
“You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment. But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, Raqa, will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barro
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus teaches that if a brother has something against us, we must be reconciled with him before we offer our gift at the altar. This reconciling requires a change of heart and mind.
The word often misleadingly translated as “repent” is metanoiete. This Greek term is based upon two words, meta (beyond) and nous (mind or spirit), and thus, in its most basic form, it means something like “go beyond the mind that you have.”
The English word “repent” has a moralizing overtone, suggesting a change in behavior or action, whereas Jesus’ term seems to be hinting at a change at a far more fundamental level of one’s being. Jesus urges his listeners to change their way of knowing, their way of perceiving and grasping reality, their mode of seeing.
What Jesus implies is this: a new state of affairs has arrived, the divine and human have met, but the way you customarily see is going to blind you to this novelty. Minds, eyes, ears, senses, perceptions—all have to be opened up, turned around, revitalized. Metanoia, mind transformation, is Jesus’ first recommendation.