If your hand leads you to sin, cut it off. If your eye leads you to sin, pluck it out.
These are the words spoken in Sunday's Gospel. Sounds kind of harsh, doesn't it?
We often think of the words spoken in this Gospel as hypothetical examples of the extreme. Jesus didn't really mean cut off your hand for taking something that doesn't belong to you; He didn't really mean pluck your eye out for looking greedily or lustfully at another. That sounds more like Sharia law. Surely He couldn't have meant that!
Jesus certainly did not want to impose Sharia law upon Christians. He wasn't like that. Sharia law is designed to punish. Sharia law is meant to cause pain. Sharia law is imposed on one person by another. Sharia law is man's weak attempt to impose justice on an unjust world. Sharia law is intended to provide revenge for those who feel, correctly or incorrectly, wronged.
Jesus was not about providing justice in an unjust world. He knew there can be no such thing as true Justice here. He was even less about providing revenge for wrongdoings. In fact, Jesus spoke of forgiveness, a concept as foreign to the world 200 years ago as it is too often today.
Please join me at Single Mom Smiling for the rest of my Gospel Reflection for Divorced Catholics.
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