I Kings 19.9,11-16; Psalm 26; Matthew 5.27-32
Jesus continually stresses that discipleship (following Him) is not a kind of ‘Judaism-lite’, an easier and less onerous kind of lifestyle than that set forth in the Law of Moses. Indeed, he demands that his followers plumb the depths of the Law. So, in the verses that immediately precede today’s Gospel reading, he insists that they reflect on a whole variety of ways men and women have of killing each other.
Today’s reading examines the sixth commandment of the Decalogue. Adultery, of course, refers to marital infidelity, an injustice which ‘does injury to the sign of the covenant which the marriage bond is, transgresses the rights of the other spouse and undermines the institution of marriage … [and] compromises the good of human generation and the welfare of children who need their parents’ stable union.’ (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2380-1) Jesus’ teaching stresses that this injustice is not simply a matter of acts, but of words and, especially, of thoughts as well.