Ø We have heard where to find happiness and we have heard also that we have been called to be light and salt.
Ø Today's readings speak to us about the Law and about the freedom to chose that has been given to the human person.
FIRST READING Sir 15:15-20
Ø We can chose to keep the commandments, this is salvation for us or we may reject them and this is condemnation.
Ø The Lord has given us the freedom to choose between fire and water, good and bad, life and death.
Ø The sacred writer tells us that whatever we choose will be given to us. God is respectful toward his creation, he respects the freedom he has given us.
Ø God is wise and all powerful.
Ø His eyes are on those who love and fear him, and he understands men's every deeds.
Ø God never commands anyone to do evil or to sin.
Ø How an interesting theme, the Law and human freedom.
Ø The law is for our good, but we have the freedom to reject it. However the Lord will continue to call us, to seek us and to wait for our coming back to him.
RESPONSORIAL Ps 119: 1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
BLESSED ARE THEY WHO FOLLOW THE LAW OF THE LORD
Blessed are they whose way is blameless
who walks in the law of the Lord
Blessed are they who observe his decrees
who seek him with all their heart.
You have commanded that your precepts
be diligently kept
Oh, that I might be firm in the ways
of keeping your statutes.
Be good to your servant, that I may live
and keep your words
Open my eyes that I may consider
the wonders of your law.
Instruct me O Lord in the way of your statutes
that I may exactly observe them
Give me discernment that I may observe your law
and keep it with all my heart.
Ø This psalm is the longest psalm and it sings the beauty of the Law of the Lord.
Ø It says how happy those who follow the ways of the Lord. In this way the Lord has given us his commandments to guide and protect us. .
Ø The commandments were given to be observed, and the psalmist manifests his desire to be faithful.
Ø He asks God to open his eyes to contemplate the wonders of his Law.
Ø The last verse we will read this coming Sunday is an invocation asking the Lord to show to us the way of his precepts.
Ø He also asks the Lord to instruct him so that he may be able to keep the Law with his whole heart.
Ø For an Israelite the Law is not made of a group of external rules, but something we carry inside and gives life to us.
GOSPEL Mt 5:20-22a, 27-28, 33-34a, 37
v Some verses before today's reading Jesus says that he has come not to abolish the law but to fulfill it.
v Yes, the Lord has come to help us to make his law real in our life. He has come to help us to love the law and to conduct our life according to it.
v Then Jesus unfolds before our eyes the real meaning of the law, he gives it its fulfillment
v Let us see what he says to us and let us pay attention to his teaching so that we may be able to live according to what Jesus teaches about the Law.
v He adds that if their justice, their truth is not superior to that of the Pharisees and the scribes, they will not be able to be part of the Kingdom, of his project.
v The Pharisees were known to be faithful in keeping the words of the law, but not always were they worried about the real meaning of the law.
v Jesus is going to reveal to us the real meaning of some of the laws, those that worry him the most.
ü You have heard that it was said to your ancestors "You shall not kill"
But I say to you whoever gets angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.
There are many ways to kill. With our words, looks, gestures we may hurt in such a way the self-esteem of someone that he or she will live without enthusiasm, without any dreams for the future, considering him or herself worthless. That is, that person is dead even if he or she continues to live.
ü You have heard that it was said "You shall not commit adultery"
But I say to you whoever looks at a woman with evil desire has already committed adultery with her in his heart. Adultery is committed in the heart, even if there are no external actions, because adultery is an infidelity toward the person with whom I have committed myself. It is a lie I say with my behavior.
ü You have heard it was said " Do not take a false oath"
But I say to you, do not swear at all, may your speech be yes or not.
We have been given the ability to speak so that we may communicate with each other, proclaim and say the truth, and this not only with words but with our life. Our life cannot contradict what our lips say.
We see how Jesus takes the law to its deepest meaning, to our inner being, from the exterior to the interior. That is to say from the appearances that sometimes are false to a sincere and open life without lies.
SECOND READING: 1Co 2:6-10
In the verses we read last week Paul said that he had decided to know nothing except Christ and Christ crucified, wisdom of God and nonsense for those who do not love him.
Today Paul says that he speaks with a wisdom which does not belong to this world, and that none of the rulers of the world can understand.
If the rulers of this world had known this wisdom, a wisdom that God gives to all of us, they would certainly not crucified the Lord Jesus.
He continues saying that God has prepared for those who love him, what eye has not seen and what ear has not heard.
At the end of this fragment he says something very interesting, this has been revealed to us by the Spirit, because the Spirit knows God depth. I think that this sentence is an invitation to pray and seek its meaning in order to discover its richness.
These promises encouraged them very much. All was necessary because people told them things that, if they would not have been chosen by the hand of God they would have many times given up. Above all, I felt compassion for their poor parents, who with so great a sacrifice, were giving them permission to cross the seas without hope of seeing them anymore, exposed to so many and so great dangers as along navigation supposes, especially to so young women without any other custody than our guardian angels and without any other protection than the one of the Divine protector. Ah! How many things come now to my mind to explain the great, the never well pondered wonders of God!!! Venerable María Antonia París, Foundress of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 124.
My most time-consuming task was hearing all the confessions because everyone wanted to make a general confession of his life. To be able to do this, I asked the other priests to help me and explained to them a procedure for doing the job both quickly and thoroughly. I wanted to avoid having penitents quarreling over their place in line, and so, as they arrived, I had them form in groups of eight, four men and four women. Then I had them bless themselves and say the Confiteor and all the preliminary prayers for confession along with me. I found this most helpful, for otherwise I would have had to spend a great deal more time waiting for them to say all these prayers individually. This way, after they had said the prayers in common, they could begin their confession directly, when their turn came. And so we not only saved time and avoided squabbles but also avoided having crowds of people pressed up against the confessional.
Whenever I finished a mission, all the townspeople would accompany me on my departure; and the people from the next town would come out to receive me--one group bidding me farewell amid tears and the other welcoming me with joy. If I tried to relate all the things that happened to me in those towns, I'd never be able to finish. I will relate just one of my experiences so that the missionaries may learn from it. Saint Anthony Mary Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters. Autobiography 482-483
CLARET, Antonio María Claret, Autobiografía
PAGOLA, José A. El camino abierto por Jesús. PPC 2012
PARIS, María Antonia, Autobiografía
SCHÖKEL, Luis Alonso. Adaptación de textos y comentarios a la BIBLIA DE NUESTRO PUEBLO.