Abraham Lincoln was once criticized by his advisers for having a meeting during the civil war with the Generals from the South. His advisers objected that he should not talk to our enemies, but we should destroy them. President Lincoln responded, what better way to destroy our enemies than to make them our friends. Jesus councils his disciples to Love our Enemies. Why? Because only that will change them. This homily continues to break down the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's Gospel.
Jesus Raises the Law to a Higher Standard but Gives us the Power to Follow It. The law given by Moses (taught by the Scribes and Pharisees) only deals with external behavior. But the Heart is the source of our sin and wrong actions. Jesus wants to purify our Heart to become like His Heart. He remakes us into what God originally intended, Christ Likeness. Let us use the law not only to guide our behavior, but to allow God to transform our hearts! When we recognize we fall short, know that God is not yet finished with us! We need to open our heart to His Power, His Love, the Holy Spirit.
We can either be for Christ, against Christ, or far to many are in between, lukewarm. The Kingdom of God needs Saints and witnesses to Christ! This homily includes a testimony of Jim Caviezel the actor who played Jesus in the Passion of Christ. When we recognize better what Christ has done for us, it is more likely we'll live our faith in the world more fervently. Listen to his testimony, and the miracles that happened during the filming of that film.
The other part of Mary's yes to the Angel Gabriel was not only the joy of the birth of a child, but the pain and suffering of his death. In this second Annunciation, we see that Mary received a harsh message today. The prophet Malachi brings a harsh message, sometimes live brings harsh messages. How will we respond, if by drawing closer to Christ, these difficult times can help make us Holy, by purifying us. Our salvation in Christ frees us to live authentically, and fully, not slaves to death, but children of the Resurrection.