Predigten von P. Martin Löwenstein SJ

Predigt zum 6. Sonntag im Lesejahr A 2020 (Mt)

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16. Februar 2020 - KHG Bonn, St. Remigius

1. God‘s law is sacred

  • Jesus lets nothing stand against the law in the Old Testament. The commandments, the origin of which is reported in the Bible from the finger of God, are holy to Jesus. Not the smallest letter of the alphabet, not one iota, may be changed. As long as heaven and earth endure, as long as the firmament vaults over the earth, this law applies. He who keeps it and teaches to keep it is great where God is great.
  • Jesus is here clearly in the tradition of Israel. It is the Jewish faith, which he took over from his mother. The Gospel of Matthew passes on to us the concise sentence in connection with the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus did not come to abolish the Old Testament. He came to live the commandments and to fulfill them.
  • And yet it is Jesus' relationship to the commandments that will ignite the conflict. His radical commitment to the commandments of the Old Testament obviously distinguishes him fundamentally from how many other commandments are read and interpreted. For them, the letter of the law is eternally unchangeable. It ensures authority, but it does not inspire the life of the Church.
    And that then means that it must not be thought about or even discussed. Whoever questions the letters calls religious authority into question. To even ask whether the letter really claims everything that is being foisted upon it is considered an outrageous revolution. The basic scheme still seems familiar to us today.

2. The law liberates to decampment

  • The whole Sermon on the Mount from the first to the last line is about how life changes when we radically and completely trust in God. God is proclaimed in the faith of the Bible and the Church as the God who is on the way with us. Abraham believes God - and is on a long way. Love is ion the way with us. God is on the way with his people. And so is his law.
  • The pure letter of the law seems to give some people security. If it is claimed that everything is clear, it is not true, but there is the appearance of certainty. The price is only that thinking and questioning must be forbidden, and that the law does not free but imprisons.
  • For those for whom security is the highest value, they will resist with all means against any handling of the law that allows questions and puts the human being in the centre. Whoever overlooks that the law is, down to the smallest iota, the living Word of God, will be cheated out of the experience of faith: "the great thing that God has prepared for those who love him." (1 Cor 2:9)

3. Live the commandments from the heart

  • Jesus' interpretation of the law sounded very popular at first, but then people turned against him. They were disappointed that he clung to the old faith and was not willing to go against the law. The others fought him, because for him the law of God was not fixed, but alive. The living God is present in his Word.
  • Throughout the history of the faith of Israel, faith always means daring to take the path in trust in God, even if it is not calculable according to human judgement. The way of Jesus even leads to the cross. The law does not save from having to go a way, but it saves on the way.
  • Thus there is also the fruit of Jesus' understanding of the law. The Sermon on the Mount explains this in detail. The fruit is the joy of not clinging to letters from the outside, but to let the love for God and the love for people be one from the heart. Not only formally to avoid lies and adultery and murder, but to discover from the heart the beauty of truth and faithfulness and life. God invites to this trust in his law. The certainty promised by clinging to a supposedly unambiguous wording is deceptive. God, on the other hand, promises us the stability with which life will dare to live. Amen.