From the Deacon’s Desk 2/23/2020

Dear Friends:

Our reading from Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18 is short but really brings home the message Jesus was trying to get across to the people of his time. The book of Leviticus holds some of the most ancient texts we have in Scripture. This particular reading says to us that Jesus’ message was nothing new or radical. As you know, Jesus always encouraged people to be loving and kind to each other.

If you remember, the Gospel reading from last week was all about taking the Ten Commandments to a new height. Following the Ten Commandments by doing exactly what they say just won’t cut it. Jesus tells us we need to read between the lines. We must go beyond what the commandments say and live their full intent. It’s not enough just not to kill someone. We must treat all people with respect and kindness.

Leviticus in the reading today is quite clear on how we are to treat each other. It goes beyond just following a set of rules; its message should be centered in our hearts. As I said, this is so important because it proves to us and those who studied Scripture in ancient times that Jesus’ message is identical to his Father’s intent when giving us the Ten Commandments. If this is the case, then Jesus is not changing anything. The message is the same.

The Gospel story from Matthew 5:38-48 also reaffirms exactly what our Father wanted from us. That is to be fair, honest, loving and kind. Matthew is trying to tell us how we need to live. Nothing is new, the message has not changed. It has been the same since the beginning of time, and it is the same today!

Peace and All Good!

Deacon Jim