Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow. But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the Evil One.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
As he does in so many places in the Gospels, Jesus takes the old law and expands on it. Rather than asking the bare minimum of us, he invites us to something more. It is not enough to simply avoid making a false oath. We are called to be people of such integrity that we do not need to swear oaths; our word is authentically true.
In our lives, we often have different “selves” that we show to different people. We play a certain role at work, another at home, and perhaps a completely different role online or on social media. While it is certainly appropriate that there are certain things we don’t talk about at certain times–no one wants to be the one who overshares around the water cooler–Jesus calls us to be our authentic selves at all times.
Are you someone who people know to be an authentic witness to Christ? Are you living the life of a disciples in both your words and your actions?
—The Jesuit Prayer team
When you say anything in secret, speak as if you were speaking to the whole world.
—St. Ignatius Loyola