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Homily for the 6th Sunday in ordinary time, year A


Sirach 15:15-20

1 Corinthians 2:6-10

Matthew 5:17-37
Beloved in Christ, today the Church invites us to reflect on the use of our freedom and the responsibility attached to it in the context of the law of God. The law in this context refers to a system of rules and guidelines that regulates the actions of those for whom it is established. It is not a mitigation against our freedom and choice.
Beloved, we are thus charged to take responsibility for our actions and not make excuses for things we know are sinful and blame others. In effect, we have a choice to make in the face of alternatives – life and death, good and evil, fire and water (Sirach 15:17). However, God never forces us to do good or evil. It is our free choice to obey or disobey God’s law, but we are responsible for the consequences of our choices.
In this regard, to keep the commandments, we have to make a decision and therein lies our freedom. But freedom does not immune us from the consequences of our actions, rather freedom makes us responsible.
In the gospel, Jesus also reminds us that following God is not only about external behavior but also conversion of our hearts and our way of living because of a deep and personal relationship with God. And from this relationship comes our external behavior. For he says, He did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it by clarifying its meaning. He wanted a conversion of heart that goes deeper than any merely external observance of the law.
For instance, He interpreted the command against murder, as a command against anger, tackling the cause and not the effect. With adultery, Jesus pointed to the basic attitude that leads to it – the deliberate entertainment of lustful thoughts; and with oaths, He said truth is not assured by oaths but by honesty and integrity.
Consequently, it is therefore important to note that no matter how we use or abuse our freedom, God does not take it away and that our freedom does not immune us from the consequences of our actions, but rather makes us responsible and culpable.
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