6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

6th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Over the next three weeks the readings are like a preparation for the Sacrament of Confession, a preparation indeed for Lent. This week an examination of conscience in the light of the Gospel, next week how living the Gospel is possible and the following week why living the Gospel is so important.

Examination of conscience

Jesus tells us today he has not come to abolish the law. He is the lawgiver in him the law is deepened and fulfilled. For example thou shalt not kill is deepened to include do not be angry, do not insult or fight with others.

Do not commit adultery is deepened to include the heart. It's no good publically respecting marriage, publically behaving decently if in private, on television, on the internet, in your mind you are committing adultery or worse. Our Lord, the lawgiver, the one who keeps the law is asking for virtue which comes from the heart, which is part of our lives both public and private.

Our Lord gives very practical advice here when he says 'pluck out your eye if it causes you to sin'. Be modest in your gaze, take care what you look at and on the other hand be careful how you dress and how you behave. The virtue of modesty is a great help to holiness. I can only speak from a man's perspective - I am sure that women will have your own way of putting this. But it is hard when some people wear next to nothing, or clothes that reveal, or clothes that look as if they have been sprayed on. Living chastely is hard enough. The devil doesn't need help in offering temptation.

Marriage is for life Our Lord goes on to teach. An example of God making a new law. Divorce and remarriage are not permitted. 'Except in the case of fornication' which refers to people living together who are not properly married. They should separate. This is the Christian way, this is law that binds the followers of Christ.

Finally, speak the truth in all things.


So four simple basics, don't be angry or insulting, respect others, live in peace. Don't be ruled by your passions, respect for others includes respect for marriage and respect for yourself, modesty, purity, chastity. Marriage is for life - it is God's law, divorce and remarriage or living together is wrong. Speak the truth.

Notice that all these things are the opposite if what we are told in Britain today. Peacefulness, controlling you passions, modesty, purity, respect for marriage and the truth is not what you get in the papers, on the television, in the shops or at the night club or from politicians. So all these things are doubly difficult because most people don't bother.

Next week Jesus tells us how we can remain faithful to his law.

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Parochial Administrator: Fr Rob Morland SMA
Address: St Joseph's Presbytery, Portland Crescent, Manchester, M13 0BU
Call or text: 0757 528 8370
Email: rob.morland@dioceseofsalford.org.uk


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