Sixth Sunday of Ordinary Time – Year A

by Fr D. Mazibuko osm

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1st Reading: Eccl 15:15-20
2nd Reading: I Cor 2:6-10
Gospel: Matthew 5:17-37

This Sunday both the first and gospel readings appeal to the will of every baptised person. Reflecting on both readings, it appears that God’s wisdom rests in the heart of every person. The power to make the right choice is not far from us, it is within our hearts. I have heard of the idiom ‘where there is a will there is a way’ and at times I thought it is just a cliché but reflecting on the readings I am convinced that indeed one needs to will to do good. The journey to overcoming temptation begins with exercising the God given power within us.

The first reading spells clearly that ‘if you wish, you can keep the commandments’. Good behaviour and good decisions are not hard to find therefore for they are already within us. The reading continues ‘to behave faithfully is within your power.’ Power has been given to us to defeat the evil one. Power has been given to us to bear credible witness to our neighbour. The evil one has no authority over us and how we make our choices for power to choose wisely has been given to us. All we need to do is to make wise decisions. We cannot doubt ourselves. Let us start by praying for the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit who is the fountain of all wisdom.

In the gospel, Jesus continues the thought and emphasises the importance of one’s intention. Good or bad behaviour has its roots in one’s intention. Our actions are fruits of what is within us. Our actions are fruits of what we intend from our hearts. In another teaching in the gospel of Mark, Jesus says what defiles a man is not what he takes but what comes out of him. Indeed, the gospel invites us to exercise control over our emotions. Clearly as baptised persons, we can transcend temporal emotion of anger and other emotions that derail our journey to God. The gospel reminds us as well that our actions have consequences. Let us pray therefore as we continue with our Mass that God may strengthen our resolve to choose wisely and be mindful of the fact that our intentions and actions have consequences.