Jesus said to his disciples, «You have also heard that people were told in the past: Do not break your oath; an oath sworn to the Lord must be kept. But I tell you this: do not take oaths. Do not swear by the heavens, for they are God's throne, nor by the earth, because it is his footstool, nor by Jerusalem because it is the city of the great king. Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. Say yes when you mean yes and say no when you mean no. Anything else you say comes from the devil».
Today, I wouldn’t give you any message or the orientation. Rather I would like to remind you all our own divine identity, as children of God. If we accept that we are children of God, think and act like God, relate with our brothers and sisters as children of the same God, we will understand this gospel very clearly. We should not mess up our identities. Let us listen to this word of God once again as wait in silence for the divine message. Have a wonderful day.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
The Light of Truth, by Chromatius (died 406 AD)
"By the grace of gospel teaching, the law given by Moses acquired an advantage. The law prescribes that one must not swear falsely; but according to the gospel one must not swear at all. The Holy Spirit had seen fit to order this through Solomon when he said, 'Do not accustom your mouth to oaths' (Sirach 23:9). And again: 'Even as a well-chastised servant is not deterred from envy, whoever swears and does business will not be purged from sin' (Sirach 23:11). Therefore it is absolutely inappropriate for us to swear. What need is there for us to swear when we are not allowed to lie at all and our words must always be true and trustworthy, so much so that they may be taken as an oath? On this, the Lord not only forbids us to swear falsely but even to swear, lest we appear to tell the truth only when we swear and lest (while we should be truthful in our every word) we think it is all right to lie when we do not take an oath. For this is the purpose of an oath: Everyone who swears, swears to the fact what he is saying is true. Therefore the Lord does not want a gap between our oath and our ordinary speech. Even as there must be no faithlessness in an oath, in our words there must be no lie. For both false swearing and lying are punished with divine judgment, as the Scripture says: 'The mouth that lies kills the soul' (Wisdom 1:11). So whoever speaks the truth swears, for it is written: 'A faithful witness will not lie' (Proverbs 14:5). (excerpt from TRACTATE ON MATTHEW 24.2.2–4)
«Say yes when you mean yes and say no when you mean no»
Fr, Jordi PASCUAL i Bancells
(Salt, Girona, Spain)
Today, Jesus goes on commenting the Commandments. The Israelites had a great respect for the name of God, a fearful veneration, for they knew that names refer to persons, and God deserves all respect, all honor and all glory, by thought, word and deed. This is why —bearing in mind that swearing is to place God as witness to the truth of what we are saying— the Law commanded them: «Do not break your oath; an oath sworn to the Lord must be kept» (Mt 5:33). But Jesus comes to perfect the Law (and, therefore, to perfect us too by following the Law), and goes a step further: «Do not take oaths. Do not swear by the Heavens (...), nor by the earth (...)» (Mt 5:34). We cannot actually say that to swear is bad, per se, but to make an oath legitimate a few conditions are needed first, such as a fair, grave and serious cause (for instance, a lawsuit), and that your oath be true and good.
But the Lord says even more: «Say yes when you mean yes and say no when you mean no» (Mt 5:37). That is, He invites us to live in truth on every instance, to conform our thinking, our words and our deeds to the truth. But, the truth is what? This is the great question, already formulated in the Gospel, during the judgment against Jesus, in Pilate's own words, which so many thinkers, throughout time, have been trying to answer to. The Truth is God. Whoever lives by pleasing God, by abiding by his Commandments, lives in Truth. The Rector of Ars says: «The reason why so few Christians act with the exclusive purpose of pleasing God is because they are immersed in the most terrible ignorance. O God, how many good deeds are lost for Heaven!». It would be good to ponder over it.
We must develop ourselves, to read the Gospel and the Catechism. And afterwards, we must live by what we have learnt.