Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
February 16, 2020
Today, in Mercy, our readings are all about LAW.
It’s a word we hear a lot about today, isn’t it?
- Rule of Law.
- Breaking the Law.
- Immigration Law.
You name it, LAW is all around us. So we should already know all about what today’s scripture passages describe – right?
The “law” we are accustomed to discussing is about agreements constructed by human beings – some of those “agreements” better than others. They are interpreted, stretched, amended, honored, ignored, bypassed, and dissolved by human beings as well.
Sometimes, we equate these “laws” with justice which, at their best, we hope they are. But the LAW of today’s readings is above and beyond these humanly defined agreements.
This LAW emanates from God. It is pure, whole, complete and holy. It is derived from the perfect nature of God which is, at once, both justice and mercy.
Sirach invites us to thrive in the perfection of God’s Law:
If you choose you can keep the commandments,
they will save you;
if you trust in God, you too shall live.
Paul tells the Corinthians that those “mature” in grace are able to receive the mystery of this Divine Law.
We speak a wisdom to those who are mature,
not a wisdom of this age,
nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away.
It is a “mysterious and hidden” Wisdom which the rulers/law makers of Paul’s age did not understand. Because when the Perfect Law became flesh in Jesus Christ, they could not comprehend him.
In our Gospel, Jesus is very clear. He is the fulfillment, not the abolishment of the Law. To live truly within that fulfillment, his disciples must go the extra mile – that is, they must infuse their practice of law/justice with the essence of Love and Mercy.
In the five years since I retired, I’ve gotten pretty good at making soup. When I’m a little lazy, I use a commercial stock for my broth. But when I want to make a soup extra special – truly my own – I make my own bone broth. It makes all the difference.
I think growing in our understanding of God’s Law is a little bit like that. It is the “perfect broth” that requires us to put our whole hearts into it. When we consume it, we are nourished, sustained, changed.
Paul says that we can’t even imagine the “broth” God has prepared for us when we live, delight, and become transformed in God’s Law:
Eye has not seen, and ear has not heard,
and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him,
Music: Eye HAs Not Seen – Marty Haugen