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Master·evangeli.net

Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Thursday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

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Gospel text (Mt 5:20-26): Jesus said to his disciples: “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..."

From “Moses’ Law” to the “Messiah’s Law”

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, after asserting His commitment to Moses’ Law, Jesus Christ explains what its «observance» is about: this observance requires something more and not something less than justice. Is it a matter of a greater strictness in the observance of the Law? What is this "greater justice" about?

If at the beginning of the "Sermon on the Mount" the emphasis is placed on extreme fidelity, now we are struck by Jesus’ presentation of the relationship of “Moses’ Torah" with the "Torah of the Messiah" in a series of antithesis: "it was said to them of old… but I say to you… Jesus’ “I” is accorded a status that no teacher of the Law can legitimately allow himself. The crowd feels that Jesus Himself is on the same exalted level as the Lawgiver, as God.

—What of the Law did Jesus leave out? Nothing! So what then did He add? The answer is “Himself”. The centrality of Jesus’ “I” in His message redirects everything.