!-- Google tag (gtag.js) -->

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

February 13, 2020

February 16, 2020


Sirach 15:15-20

Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34

First Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians 2:6-10

Matthew 5:17-37

I have always been a lover of sports and sports activities.  Sports and my boyhood parish of Saint Mary Mother of Jesus kept me and most of my friends out of trouble as we grew up in the little borough of three-million people know as Brooklyn, New York.  If you name the sport I most probably played it.  Public School, CYO, or PAL, it made no difference to me as long as I could play.  I was once given the pseudonym of “Howard Hirsch” in order to play basketball for our neighborhood Jewish Community Center.  Go figure! If my friends and I weren’t playing sports we were talking about them.  I remember a conversation we once had about the summer Olympics.  We debated how fast a person could run 100 meters, or the measured mile, or how can a person reach in the high jump or pole vault.  We reasoned that there had to be limitation and for obvious reasons.  We knew that a person running a one-minute mile is impossible or that a two second 100 meter dash would never happen.

So then, what does this have to do with today’s Gospel?  You may have noticed that our Lord has set the bar very high for us.  In fact it is nearly impossible for all of us to constantly quell our lusts, quench our prejudices, even to calm our hatred.  All of these things. And more would truly and forever be unreachable, just like someone running the one-minute mile.

The Good News of Jesus Christ is that we are not meant to do it all on our own.  This is made beautifully evident in a very hope-filled and joyful way in our second reading from Saint Paul who tells us, “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love Him…” This is both a promise for the future which is a “Crown of Glory” for a race well run, but it is also a reality in the here and now.  God the Father has prepared it for us in His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.    

Jesus is the One who stood in solidarity with our humanity.  He faced the devil in the desert and defeated him soundly.  He is the one who always comes to our aid when we call upon Him.  He frees us from our deepest darkest sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  In the Holy Eucharist He fills us with His unconditional love.  It is because He set the bar so high that we are being led by the hand to sainthood and to everlasting life.  Friends, we are all meant to be saints!

Today we are called to the renewing of more than attitudes, and more than stepping out of our own comfort zone.  We are called to entirely alter our view toward all of humanity.  We are called to a radical and revolutionary response to righteousness.  Our Lord tells us, in no uncertain and completely clear terms, I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom the heaven.”  The key here is recognizing and acting as we see Christ in others.

The bar that Our Lord has set for us to follow is high indeed.  The sports metaphor I used earlier really does, in a small way, apply.  Every athlete who competes on any level knows must keep trying to succeed and to be the very best they can be.  Therefore, as a Catholic Christian we must continually strive to succeed in becoming and being the very best person we can be. 

Question of the Day:  Will you accept the saving graces of Jesus and follow His precepts?

Prayer:  Lord, I have not seen, so show me with your eyes.  Lord, I do not hear, so give me Your ears.  Lord, my heart is sometimes empty, so fill it with your love.


Deacon Anthony J. Cincotta

Assistant Director for Retreat Ministry

addiction-support family find-us history grief-or-loss marriage mens storiespng testimonial womens young-adulthood healing our-grounds prayers calendar malvern-live retreats2go plan-your-visit donate