The Word This Week

“You have learnt how it was said to your ancestors; but I say this to you.”

Sermon on the Mount by Carl Bloch

Back in the 60s some groups “adopted” Jesus Christ as an icon of rebellion, overturning authority and tearing up the rule book – possibly because of the frequent confrontations between Our Lord and the Pharisees. Today’s Gospel, however, shows us Jesus not as rule-breaker, but as rule-fulfiller, bringing an even greater depth to the rule that had guided the people of Israel for centuries. Jesus does not throw out the rulebook – or as the first reading says, He does not command us to be godless! He challenges us in this Gospel to see how far our keeping God’s Law will go: will it just be about the letter of the Law (“I have never killed anyone”), or will it look deeper (“Have I ever been angry? Have I been violent in my thoughts?”). The challenge of the Kingdom of Heaven is to keep the commandments first and foremost from within, so that our outward behaviour conforms to the requirements of God’s Law.

Today’s Scipture: (Psalter: Week 2)

Sirach 15: 15 – 20.

Response: Psalm 118
They are happy whose life is blameless,
who follow God’s law!
They are happy those who do his will,
seeking him with all their hearts.

You have laid down your precepts
to be obeyed with care.
May my footsteps be firm
to obey your statutes.

Bless your servant and I shall live
and obey your word.
Open my eyes that I may consider
the wonders of your law.

Teach me the demands of your statutes
and I will keep them to the end.
Train me to observe your law,
to keep it with my heart.

Sung Antiphon: (They are happy who follow God’s law.)

1 Corinthians 2: 6 – 10

Acclamation for the Gospel:
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!
Speak, Lord, your servant is listening:
You have the message of eternal life.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!

Matthew 5: 17 – 37

Prayer of the Faithful: R/. Lord, bless your servants.

Please take some time to view Today’s Readings on Catholic Online.

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