When Jesus says, “The Law says....but I say to you”, he expands the original law in order to get to the spirit behind “The Law”.
It seems that Jesus is ultimately most concerned, not about an un-reflected external keeping of The Law, but rather he desires an internal change of our heart, a conversion of our heart.
He tells the disciples that their righteousness must surpass that of their religious leaders in order for them to get into heaven! Jesus expects more from his disciples...he expects them to love one another as he has loved them.
So just refraining from killing someone is not enough... we have to love them and show that love by how we treat them! That doesn’t mean that there is no place for righteous indignation at injustices and violations of God’s call to care for and look after the lost, the poor, the marginalized, and the least amongst us.
Surely it is clear that the sin of systemic racism, the lack of care for the homeless, the immigrant and refugee by some in our country would certainly be called out by Jesus, and so should it be called out by us as his disciples, everywhere we see these sins and encounter them!
The efforts by some governors, legislators, school boards and parents to erase our racist history by banning books and school courses that teach African American history, are prime examples of systemic racism alive and at work in our country and should be called out for what it really is!
Our discipleship of Jesus Christ calls us to a specific lifestyle, one rooted in the values, ever so clearly put forth, in the Gospels.
Jesus understood “ the golden rule” to be a guide that would lead us to live a good and faithful life, one that contributed to the building up of the Reign of God, that cared for and valued all God’s children.
Many of our “spiritual heroes and heroines”, like St. Thérèse of Lisieux, challenge us to love our sisters and brothers, with even just little acts of love on a daily basis, especially the least of our sisters and brothers...we don’t always have to look for the “big bang” acts of love towards our sisters and brothers -- sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference in someone’s life.
How am I doing keeping Jesus’ laws of love...to love my neighbor, even those who don’t like me... or those have hurt me? What does Jesus call me to today?