Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Matthew 5,17-37
Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill.
Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place.
Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’
But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna.
Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you,
leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison.
Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.”
You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’
But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna.
And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna.
It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’
But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”
Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.’
But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne;
nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King.
Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black.
Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.”
Peace to all my brothers and sisters listening in today
Quake. Shake. Wake
1) Quake- There’s a story about an ancient church in the Ukraine which had a vestibule with a white wall and as people walked in they would always reverently bow before it and of course this had been going on for centuries and it became a tradition that everybody followed. The funny part was that nobody actually knew why they were bowing at the wall.
It wasn’t until an earthquake fractured the wall and revealed that behind the wall was an exquisite image of Mary
2) Shake it up- Today Jesus wants to shake us out of any kind of empty ritualistic routine which allows us to just go through the motions without any meaning and wake us up from just sleep walking in our faith devotion so that We can truly live the spirit behind the law and not just slavishly follow the law in a sluggish way. We must learn from the Pharisees who had forgotten the purpose of the law and reduced it to nothing more than a rigid following of legislated rules. Instead of becoming a means to an end, it became an end in itself. So many of us can use the law in the same way as an almost gage to see how far we can go before we actually break the law instead of doing the exact opposite which is to see how far we can go in perfectly imitating God in loving wholeheartedly like him.
3) Wake up. That is what Jesus means when he says unless our righteousness surpasses the Pharisees we cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. Mere outward observance and obedience to the law while keeping us from death cannot give us a share in the grace of the resurrected life Christ promised us. Jesus wants us to wake up and really experience a true newness of life, to be fully alive in the spirit behind the law.
Today let us choose to live in the spirit of love in which the law was written so that we can seek to purify our love by not merely not killing or committing adultery but not using our words as weapons to harm nor our eyes to lust.
May God bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
Always remember Heaven is our goal