Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the Kingdom of heaven before men. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You traverse sea and land to make one convert, and when that happens you make him a child of Gehenna twice as much as yourselves.
"Woe to you, blind guides, who say, 'If one swears by the temple, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gold of the temple, one is obligated.' Blind fools, which is greater, the gold, or the temple that made the gold sacred? And you say, 'If one swears by the altar, it means nothing, but if one swears by the gift on the altar, one is obligated.' You blind ones, which is greater, the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? One who swears by the altar swears by it and all that is upon it; one who swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it; one who swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who is seated on it."
We want words which remain. We seek to anticipate broken promises and prevent lies. We want to make our words "heavier." Therefore, we swear. We try to increase our own trustworthiness by referring to others, by putting into the game our relationship with others.
In a song I like a line is repeated which comes to mind when reflecting about this gospel. It reads “Give me something that remains.” In a time in which everything seems to pass so quickly, the author yearns for a little piece of certainty, for security.
Sometimes we are asked to give something lasting. Sometimes we want to give something certain. Something that remains. In such moments we might feel that our word alone lacks the weight to fill that need. We want to make our word “heavier” and our promises more secure. That is the context in which people make oaths, solemn promises, witnessed declarations.
Jesus explains what it is that sincerely makes our word “heavier.” No rituals nor religious instruments, no formulas nor treasures, but God's presence itself. If we want to put our whole heart into a decision, then we should make it with God and integrate it in our relationship with Him. Since He knows our whole life and our heart's intentions, we can't be more sincere and truer towards anyone else but Him. You can't lie to God.
Jesus, You know me. God, I stand before You as Your child. Listen to what I want to tell You today in the most honest and transparent manner. I trust in You, there is nothing I couldn't mention to You. Give that my words, my convictions and opinions, become ever more reliable and certain because I form them in dialogue with You. Thus, allow me to be a beacon of light, a source where people can find something that remains. You alone have words of everlasting life. Make my words into Your words, Lord. True words.