Fulfilling righteousness

5 February 2017
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
Epiphany 5A (RCL)
Isaiah 58:1-12
Psalm 112
1 Corinthians 2:1-16
Matthew 5:13-20

Jesus began his ministry in Matthew’s Gospel by proclaiming, “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven has arrived.” I contend that the word we translate ‘repent’ means something more like ‘go back to school, retrain your mind.’ Matthew’s own Gospel is the textbook he intends us to use to retrain our mind. The opening paragraph of the Sermon on the Mount (the beatitudes) invited us to reconsider how a community is constituted — by constraints on behavior (the ten commandments) or by holding up exemplars for honor, which overturn the usual system of honor. This paragraph now invites us to relearn what righteousness is. Continue reading “Fulfilling righteousness”