Memorial of Saint Barnabas, Apostle
You have heard that it was said to your ancestors,
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,
and whoever says to his brother, Raqa,
will be answerable to the Sanhedrin,
and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar,
and there recall that your brother
has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar,
go first and be reconciled with your brother,
and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him.
Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge,
and the judge will hand you over to the guard,
and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you,
you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.
— Matthew 5:20-26
The peace of the Lord be with you. Since the time of the 10 Commandments God has made a connection between love of God and love of neighbor. It appears in God’s eyes that there might not be a separation between these two relationships.
In the Gospel of Matthew today, Jesus reminds us that our offering(s) to God are somehow are diminished if we are not in right relationship with each other. How come? Well in truth, I am not entirely sure, but my educated guess goes back to the creation of humankind. In Genesis, we are told that we are made in the image of God. So, even in our imperfect state, His divine image still exists there. So when our hearts are closed or hardened to our brother or sister, they are on some level are not open to God either.
Today we are called to examine our relationships with each other, to seek out reconciliation when there is a problem, and then freed of the burden and the weight of conflict, we can offer a pure gift to God — the God who is purity and love in its most perfect form. Blessings in your endeavors. In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.