Less Self-Righteousness, More Saving Power
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. 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.”
On this Second Friday of Lent, Jesus is talking to His disciples. While talking to the disciples, Jesus says. “I tell you unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” This is obviously important because Jesus is telling us how to do good, so that we may be in Heaven forever.
Allow God to Create Righteousness
He says that unless we can be more loving, kind, and compassionate than the Pharisees, we can enter Heaven. Jesus also hints at this even more, when he asks, “Is it easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle for a rich man to give up his possessions?” Jesus is telling us that to be in Heaven, we must learn to sacrifice, we must learn to take up our cross, and to fast because Jesus persevered 40 Days, and it is the Season of Lent.
Righteousness Brings Humility
Jesus calls us to be humble, when acting kind, and not to boast like the Pharisees such as mentioned in Gospels earlier this week. Whenever we strive to act like Jesus, and ask Him to come into our lives, and pray to Jesus and ask Him to allow you to act more like him. Jesus wants us to go to Heaven, and we can do that by being kind, loving, humble, and faithful. Jesus then goes on to say that we shall not kill, or else they will be liable to judgement. Thou shall not kill is one of the Commandments, but Jesus doesn’t just mean killing someone, but rather having hate for each other is unacceptable.
Jesus then says that if we call anybody by a bad name, or derogatory name, then they will be liable to judgement. Remember in yesterdays Gospel where Jesus calls us to treat other just as we would want to be treated? Jesus wants us to treat others, even our enemies, and to pray for them with love, and respect.
Now, Jesus knows that we are human, and that we have fallen victim to sin. Jesus offers us a chance of repentance today for all the times that we have treated others badly. He wants us to apologize for the people we have hurt, and if not, bad things could happen, and we will not be happy until we full repent.
Always Ready to Forgive
The beautiful principle about Jesus is that He is always willing to forgive us, no matter the sin, if we are willing to seek to change our lives, and that we are truly sorry. As you go on Spring Break, think about how you can kind to others, and how you can pray for your enemies. And don’t be afraid to go into your room and pray over break. You won’t regret it.
–Julian Hernandez, Class of 2025
Other High School Lenten Reflections can be found on this website.