DAILY MASS, GOSPEL AND COMMENTARY:
JESUS PRAISES SINCERITY
JESUS PRAISES SINCERITY
Gospel of Saturday, 10th week of Ordinary Time
Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the Evil One.”
Gospel Commentary from the Navarre Bible, Commentary to the Gospel of St. Matthew (with permission)
The Law of Moses absolutely prohibited perjury or violation of oaths (Ex 20:7; Num 30:3; Deut 23:22).
- In Christ’s time, the making of sworn statements was so frequent and the casuistry surrounding them so intricate that the practice was being grossly abused. Some rabbinical documents of the time show that oaths were taken for quite unimportant reasons.
- Parallel to this abuse of oath-taking there arose no less ridiculous abuses to justify non-fulfilment of oaths.
- All this meant great disrespect for the name of God. However, we do know from Sacred Scripture that oath-taking is lawful and good in certain circumstances: “If you swear, ‘As the Lord lives’, in truth, in justice, and in uprightness, then nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory” (Jer 4:2).
Jesus here lays down the criterion which his disciples must apply in this connexion. It is based on re-establishing, among married people, mutual trust, nobility and sincerity.
- The devil is “the father of lies” (Jn 8:44).
- Therefore, Christ’s Church cannot permit human relationships to be based on deceit and insincerity. God is truth, and the children of the Kingdom must, therefore, base mutual relationships on truth.
- Jesus concludes by praising sincerity. Throughout his teaching he identifies hypocrisy as one of the main vices to be combatted (cf. for example, Mt 23:13-32), and sincerity as one of the finest of virtues (cf. Jn 1:47).
VIDEO COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S GOSPEL
Test yourself if you are an honest person with 10 questions relating to day-to-day situations. Honesty is important. Being truthful gives us credibility that heals relationships, strengthens connections and keeps us on track on our journey towards holiness. On the other hand, our credibility will be destroyed and we will always be haunted if we are dishonest. God will treat you the way you treat others. “Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.” (Galatians 6:7). If we sow dishonesty, we reap personal disrepute. People will not trust us and will stop dealing with us. Be careful because your loved ones, particularly your children, and people are watching. Your believability and their trust in you depends on how you handle situations that test your honesty and integrity. The struggle to be honest is one of the human weaknesses that can only be overcome through the grace of the Holy Spirit. And that is why we must pray daily for God to give us the grace to become holy. Lying is a human frailty. But others are more prone to lie as a habit. And yet, there are among us who are incapable and uncomfortable even to tell a white lie. Let us set an example of honesty. When confronted with a situation that makes you waver in telling the truth, seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit.