But I say to you: context

sermon-on-the-mountHere in the 6th Sunday of Ordinary Time, our gospel reading continues the “Sermon on the Mount” begun on the 4th Sunday.  As mentioned elsewhere, the “Sermon” is the first of the Matthean discourses and perhaps the best known. Warren Carter (Matthew and the Margins) has these introductory comments about the entire sermon:

The focus of Jesus’ teaching concerns the “good news of God’s empire/reign” (4:17, 23; 5:3, 10, 19, 20; 6:10, 33; 7:21). The sermon is not, though, a comprehensive manual or rule book not a step-by-step “how to” book. Rather it offers a series of illustrations, or “for examples,” or “case studies” of life in God’s empire, visions of the identity and way of life that result from encountering God’s present and future reign. (p.128) Continue reading

But I say to you: readings

sermon-on-the-mountWhat began on the 4th Sunday continues here on the 6th Sunday: the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5:17-37). The gospel for this Sunday is long and contains five connected, but different thoughts. This “pre-post” presents the entire Gospel reading with a suggestion of the five teachings presented by Jesus. The thought that connects them all is the teaching power of Jesus is the fulfillment of what you have been taught and only dimly came to understand. It is expressed in various ways, all variants of “You have heard it was said…but I say to you.” Continue reading