Today's is a very long and difficult Gospel reading. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus raises the bar to ridiculous levels and how we behave and how we think.
He first says, "I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." What does He mean by that? Weren't the scribes and Pharisees actually quite righteous?
The scribes and Pharisees were sort of "by the book" people. They were very well versed in the law, and they followed it assiduously. But it was all for show. Jesus knew their hearts were far away. In essence, they followed the letter of the law, but lost the spirit of the law. It's not that we're to throw out the letter of the law. (Jesus didn't do that.) But we must keep the spirit of the law - the law of love - first and foremost. Then will our righteousness surpass the scribes and Pharisees.
Father, may our hearts reflect your heart, the merciful heart of Jesus. Amen.