What is Jesus saying to us in this seemingly straightforward message, one that sends terror through the hearts of many. At one level He tells us that our thoughts matter, what we think can lead us to good or evil, once we dwell on those thoughts we turn them from thoughts to desires, and desires eventually turn into passions that we act on.
These thoughts can be good or bad, if they are temptations, as those in the Gospel today, Jesus tells us to throw them out and get rid of them. What is in our heart is what will join or separate ourselves from God. Jesus does not make it simple, even marriage is forever, an almost alien concept in today’s secular society.
Jesus wants us to have an interior dedication to Him in our hearts that will shine through in our daily lives to all others around us. Appearing to be good is not the same as being good in our hearts. It is not enough for Him, he wants all of us.