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Teaching about oaths

Gospel reading: Mt 5:33-37
Jesus said to his disciples: “Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’

Anything more is from the Evil One.”

REFLECTIONS
Let your ‘yes’ mean ‘yes.’

Jesus wants his disciples to be clear in their response to God. They should not send signals that can be confusing.

They do not have to swear or make false promises that they are not convinced to keep. For Jesus, it is enough to mean what you say. He does not mind if we say no. He will respect our decision. He can move on in his mission without our yes.

When we say yes to the Lord who calls, there should be no if’s and but’s or compromises, so that we can truly follow him. A response like “It depends” can lessen our commitment to him. We cannot go very far; indecisiveness comes from the Evil One, says Jesus.

We can make good decisions when we discern well. We work on data provided us by trusted people, our support system, our resources, and our willingness to take risks and stand by our decisions.

Jesus’ words may refer also to the commitments we make to one another in our daily life. We practice charity if we stand by our yes or no. We do not keep people guessing what we want or what we can do for them.

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Let us not be afraid to say no if we cannot make it, or to say yes if we love the other person.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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Written by Tempo Online

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