Thur 14th June 2018
10th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

1 Kgs. 18:41-46; 
Ps. 65(64):10-11,12-13; 
Mt. 5:20-26     (Ps Wk II)

“How long will you straddle the issue?” Elijah’s challenge to the people assembled on Mount Carmel can well be repeated to many people in the modern world, ourselves included.

Because of their self-righteousness and lack of understanding and awareness of the realities affecting the lives of ordinary people, Jesus sometimes quite severely accused people like the Pharisees or other religious leaders with sinful attitudes if not actual sins. He did, on occasion (John 5, the paralyzed man; Jn 8, the woman caught in adultery) remind ordinary people not to sin. But in general he did not continue to a tedious and excessive extent to talk of the sins, the faults and failings of ordinary people. He rather encouraged us to try to be holier people: “Unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and the Pharisees, you shall not enter the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus expected his disciples to be holy people, in need of encouragement rather than condemnation. Being weak people, often weighed down by life's burdens, we may feel we do not have the strength to be better people and there can be issues in life that we are afraid or unable to face up, and so we keep on straddling the issue, as Elijah warns us.

Lord, may the storms of life not catch us unawares.