Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven (from the Holy Gospel, Mt. 5.20-24).
This is a clear allusion to the New Law, the law of charity, given to us by the Lord and Savior Himself and surpassing the simple law of justice.
First, we cannot content ourselves with simply not doing harm to our neighbor; we must practice toward him a positive, fraternal charity. It is not enough “not to kill” in order to escape the judgment but whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment.
Second, it is useless to make an exterior display of goodness if this does not proceed from an upright conscience and a sincere heart. It does not suffice to avoid giving outward offence to our neighbor; we must avoid, or rather, repress our inner resentment. The Pharisees, with their materialistic interpretation of the law, had completely lost its spirit; they had forgotten that the eyes of the Lord are always upon us and that He sees our intentions as well as our acts. Anger and resentment that smoulder in our heart do not escape Him. At the same time, Our Lord asks great delicacy of us in all our exterior dealings with our neighbor. He demands that we avoid not only offensive acts but even words that might hurt another.