“Let your word be ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from the evil one.” (Matthew 5:37)
St. Paul tell us this morning that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature. This means that if I say I am in Christ, there should be something unique about me, something that makes me totally different, completely outstanding.
The question is: “what exactly differentiates a Christian from one who is not?” St. Paul says: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself… And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8).
Now, let us consider the issue of telling lies. Jesus teaches us this morning: “Let what you say simply be ‘yes’ or ‘no’; anything more than this comes from the Evil one.” In other words, if truly I am in Christ, I shouldn’t be telling lies. In fact, there should be no need for me to try to swear.
Indeed, to be a Christian is to have Christ living in you. It is the presence of Christ within a person that makes him or her a new creature. When Christ in you, your approach to life, your behaviour, thoughts, likes, desires; indeed, everything about you should reflect Christ. There should be nothing in you that is contrary to Christ.
Yesterday, we celebrated the Sacred Heart of Jesus, today we are celebrating the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. What are the characteristics of the heart of Mary?
- Humility. Mary was never proud. Mary acknowledged she was just a handmaid of God and she never went about seeking praise and exultation from her fellow women like the Pharisees who loved to be greeted obsequiously in the marketplaces.
- Silence. Mary treasured everything in her heart. She wasn’t a noisy or a gossiping type of woman.
- Righteousness. Mary had a pure heart. It is as a result of Mary’s outstanding sinlessness that we refer to her heart as immaculate. It was this purity of heart that made God so fall in love with her as to choose her to be his mother. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus gave us a secret; “Blessed are the Pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8). Only a heart so pure can contain God as Mary did.
As we reflect on Mary’s Immaculate Heart, let us look at our own hearts. What efforts am I making to guard my heart from all defilements of evil?
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, cleanse my heart from all impurity and sinfulness. Amen.
Bible Study: 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, Psalm 103 and Matthew 5:33-37).