Brian’s Reflection: The Weekend, Saturday, February 12, 2011
Jesus said, "You have heard that it was said to
those of ancient times, `You shall not murder';
and `whoever murders shall be liable to judgment.'
But I say to you that if you are angry with a brother
or sister, you will be liable to judgment.”
Matthew 5; Gospel reading for Epiphany VI
(Revised Common Lectionary, Year A)
[ You can view the complete readings for this Sunday at: http://www.io.com/~kellywp/YearA_RCL/Epiphany/AEpi6_RCL.html ]
Don’t even be angry. Don’t even look with desire at someone who arouses you. Don’t abandon your spouse for any reason as an excuse just to pander to you own sexual longings. Don’t break your world, for any reason; your World is sacred.
There is nothing that Jesus says (or God, or the Buddha, or Muhammad, of Zoroaster, or any llama, or any spiritual teacher) that we should accept uncritically. To do so is an abrogation of our Humanity. It is required of each of us that we, like Mary, should “ponder” every aspect of our Life “in our hearts”. We cannot escape our responsibility as creatures made of the stars and One with all Beings.
The Gospel Message is simple. We are created, called, to live our lives as reflections of the Divine Nature. Problem? There are MANY concepts of what the Divine Nature IS. Just look around at the World today; God is being created in “our own image”, for all kinds of political and social reasons. But ignorance is only possible if we have renounced our Heart. Our Heart knows the Truth. When God is defined as anything but LOVE, we have succumbed to the promptings of the dark side of Existence.
If we think that Jesus is just a moralistic guide, we have been seduced. His guidance is radical. He is always reminding that we are in danger. His teachings don’t contravene fairness or justice in any way. He is just saying, clearly: “Don’t think that you and we will get anywhere on the journey to Full Humanity (i.e., “enter the Kingdom of God”) without having our hearts and minds cracked open, without having “died to our” lesser Selves and embraced our Larger Selves. What’s that? It’s the understanding that we are One with God and all Being. That to harm another is to harm ourself.
Jesus’ teachings sound extreme. But if we are “ready”, they are but the gentle sound to the Beginning of a whole new Life. A life that will transform the human community, by the unstoppable power of Compassion, of Love.