Bible Text: “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”.
Matthew 5. 20-26
Jesus continued to lay down His teaching to His apostles. This teaching should not be considered as new but rather the right interpretation and therefore the appropriate way of life. When Jesus revised the pharisaic teaching that whoever kills will be liable to judgment into whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, He is not offering a new solution and new perspective regarding the peace and order in the community. Jesus is definitely saying to us the right solution and the right perspective. It is good to recall Jesus’ consistency about His words in yesterday’s gospel that He came not to abolish but to fulfil the law.
Jesus teaching is the right perspective to promote non violence. He is totally aware that the very first crime can probably happen in the heart. The heart is where the motive is conceived before it is translated into concrete action. In order to prevent violence the very first thing to do is not to keep watch of delinquent people but to keep guard of our hearts. We have to be very vigilant about the looming hatred that can eventually explode into violence in the community. We also have to recognize that this is the temptation of the devil. God had created us good but the devil is always lurking to take chances to devastate God’s beloved. Promotion of non violence begins when we recognize how beautiful our hearts are because we God’s creatures and the tendency to be brutal comes from the enemy of God who is Satan.
Second, Jesus teaching is the right solution to non violence. The way to prevent the rapid spread of violence is to cut its root cause. The heart is so important. This is the very reason why we have the sacrament of reconciliation so that the invisible to the eye should be given the proper healing. Hatred in the heart should be properly judged in the sacrament of healing. The sacrament of reconciliation gives us opportunity to accept that our motivation is going astray. We also receive the grace of God to calm down and transform our hearts so that hatred will be replaced by humility; violence will be replaced by love and reconciliation.
This is the mission accomplished by the apostles and the way of life that we have to perpetuate. Let us therefore ask the intercession of Saint Barnabas who chose to die rather than hurt people.