When someone makes a statement that is difficult or unreasonable, human beings rationalize in order to ignore or moderate their words. Maybe the person didn’t mean it, or maybe they have some hidden strategy that explains their otherwise irrational position. Unfortunately for deniers, what a person says is what they mean. The duty of science is to be accountable and to hold each other accountable to what is actually said, not to appeal to an imaginary “intended meaning” or purpose. Demagoguery is the bastard child of Plato, enabled by the tolerable meanings we create behind or above the stench of what is actually said.
In the case of Matthew, the difficult words of Jesus are also unbearable. Beginning with Matthew 5, the Lord presents an explanation of the Law of Moses that makes it literally impossible for anyone to claim that they are righteous. Some scholars argue that Jesus is exaggerating to make a point. Why? Because if Jesus meant what he said (a tautology for Semites) then, literally, no one is righteous. No, not one.
Jesus decimates the hope of human righteousness, even as the demagogue counts on our faith in the same. That’s why the words of Jesus, unlike human words, are a sweet fragrance in the Father’s nostrils.
Richard and Fr. Marc discuss Matthew 6:5-6.
This week’s episode is offered in honor of Kathryn, an Alzheimer’s patient who entered hospice this week. We give thanks with her to him who remembers us in our low estate, for his mercy endures forever.
Episode 253 Matthew 6:5-6; “ZigZag” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License http:// creativecommons .org/ licenses /by/3.0/