Boy, can Jesus be demanding! And, boy, can Jesus seem angry as he is demanding. He even seems to engage in hair-splitting, and leave us with the impression that, in the end, there is little mercy when it comes to meeting the demands of the Christian life. Become angry and one is "liable to judgment". Say "you fool" and one is "liable to the hell of fire". "Come to terms quickly with your accuser"...or "you will never get out until you have paid the last penny."Look at someone with lust and one "has already committed adultery in his heart".Need I go on?
Is Jesus angrily splitting hairs, or he is (strong) lovingly revealing the following?
Thankfully, Jesus makes love and loving possible. Jesus speaks so strongly because He lays His heart on the line for this. And, so we pray, in the words of the German mystic, St. Gertude (+1302)
Hail, Sacred Heart of Jesus, living and strengthening source of eternal life, infinite treasury of the divinity, burning furnace of divine love! You are my refuge and my sanctuary. My loving Savior, consume my heart in that burning fire with which Your own is inflamed. Pour into my soul those graces which flow from Your love. Let my heart be so united with Yours that our wills may be one, and my will in all things conformed with Yours. May Your Will be the guide and rule of my desires and of my actions. Amen.
Yours in Christ,
From the desk of the Rector