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6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 6-9): Yes If Yes

(Adults, the Gospel reading is extremely long. For the 6-9 year olds, I am focusing on the first and last verses.)

full reading: Matthew 5.17-37

The Gospel reading for this Sunday is part of a long talk that Jesus gives while sitting on the hillside of a mountain, surrounded by so many people who have gathered to hear him. He says,

Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.

Abolish means to put an end to something, or to get rid of it.

Jesus says he is not here to get rid of the law or the prophets. What does he mean?

Prophets—we know something about. We know that prophets are people who sat so still, who listened so carefully, they heard God's voice. And they told everyone what they had heard. The prophet Isaiah heard, "The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light." We know that the great light is Jesus.

But what is the law?

The law is the Word given by God to Moses so many hundreds of years before Jesus was born. It is called the Torah, which means "teaching." The Torah is the Word of God and shows people how to live with each other and with God.

Photo by Tanner Mardis on Unsplash

In the psalms we hear,

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. (Psalm 119:105)

A lamp! A light! This is Jesus!

Jesus is the Word of God.

He is Torah; he is the Word made flesh; he is the fulfilment of the law.

So what does Jesus, the Word of God, teach us?

Let your word be ‘Yes,’ if ‘Yes,’ or ‘No,’, if ‘No’

Hmm. That seems simple enough. Say 'yes' if you mean yes, and 'no' if you mean no.

What would it mean if we did not say 'yes' when we mean yes?

Imagine we accidentally break a favourite dish of our mother's, and hide the pieces because we are afraid she will get mad. Our mother finds the pieces and asks us, did you break this? And we say no.

What are we doing?

Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

We are lying.

What does lying do to the relationship between our mother and us? Does it draw us closer to each other or push us further apart?

Even if she does not know for sure that we broke the dish, she will know that something is not right. She will love us, but will she trust us?

We will have broken more than just the dish.

Let your word be ‘Yes,’ if ‘Yes,’ or ‘No,’, if ‘No’

Imagine if everyone in the whole world did this...

If everyone said exactly what they mean, we could trust their words. We would not have to wonder if they were telling us the truth. Things like dishes would still get broken and maybe people would get mad, but we wonder if hearts would be broken as often. We wonder if we would become closer to each other, and closer to God.

We can wonder what the world would be like if everyone was honest...

How would the world change?

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