Commentary on the Gospel of
I used to be a music minister, so when I look at the readings, I often think about what music I would choose to sing for Mass. Today I would sing “Seek the Lord” by Roc O’Connor. The first verse is “Today is the day and now the proper hour to forsake our sinful lives and turn to the Lord.” Today is the day, and now is the proper hour. Now is the day of salvation. Today is the best day to forsake our sinful lives and turn to the Lord. Now is really all we have. Today is my dad’s birthday. He would be 76 today, but he died five years ago (tomorrow). We didn’t really expect that he was going to die that day. We do not know the day or the hour. So whatever we need to do, we need to do now. Now is the day of salvation. Tomorrow might be too late.
The first reading from Corinthians tells us to take advantage of God’s grace. God will hear us at an acceptable time and will help us on the day of salvation. Today is that time. Now is the day of salvation. We should accept God’s grace and make the most of it. If we do not accept it today, when will we? But it might not be easy. There are trials and tribulations. There are hardships. It’s not easy to forsake our sinful lives. It’s not easy to be a good Christian in a sinful world. There are things that will tempt us and those who will go against us. We may not have glory or riches on earth, but we have the promise of heaven. Our reward might not be in this life, but our reward will be eternal.
And in the Gospel, Jesus says that we need to be above violence and pettiness. In forsaking our sinful lives, we need to forsake selfishness and vengeance. Rather than ‘an eye for an eye,’ we need to take the high road and forgive. Instead of wanting to pay back those who hurt us, we should forgive and move forward. In fact, far from wanting vengeance, Jesus says we should give more than is demanded. If someone tries to take your shirt, give your coat as well. These things don’t matter, what are possessions? Don’t fight back. Don’t stoop to the level of the violent by repaying their violence. Let them continue with their sinful lives. They will get what they deserve, if not in this world in the next. We should forsake sin and violence and turn to the Lord. Today is the day and now the proper hour.