You are my inheritance, O Lord.--Psalm 16:(see 5)
Mass readings: 1 Kings 19:19-21 / Matthew 5:33-37
Oaths are common in our society. New citizens take an oath of allegiance. Newly-elected public officials take oaths of office. In court, testimony is taken under oath. Are these actions forbidden by Jesus' teaching in today's Gospel reading? No, but they do remind us that we live in an imperfect world affected by sin. Ideally, we shouldn't need an oath to assure true allegiance, faithful execution of office, or the truthfulness of testimony. The world as God originally intended it didn't need any oaths.
But then there is the proliferation of oaths about trivial matters. When a friend finds a statement we make hard to believe, we rush to prop up the weak (and possibly untrue) statement with ''I swear to God!'' This is the sort of thing about which Jesus is cautioning us.
Prayer: Dear God, help me always tell the truth . . . in a kind way.