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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (2Cor 3:4-11): Brothers and sisters: Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. Not that of ourselves we are qualified to take credit for anything as coming from us; rather, our qualification comes from God, who has indeed qualified us as ministers of a new covenant, not of letter but of spirit; for the letter brings death, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry of death, carved in letters on stone, was so glorious that the children of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of its glory that was going to fade, how much more will the ministry of the Spirit be glorious? For if the ministry of condemnation was glorious, the ministry of righteousness will abound much more in glory. Indeed, what was endowed with glory has come to have no glory in this respect because of the glory that surpasses it. For if what was going to fade was glorious, how much more will what endures be glorious.
Responsorial Psalm: 98
R/. Holy is the Lord our God.
Extol the Lord, our God, and worship at his footstool; holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests, and Samuel, among those who called upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he answered them.

From the pillar of cloud he spoke to them; they heard his decrees and the law he gave them.

O Lord, our God, you answered them; a forgiving God you were to them, though requiting their misdeeds.

Extol the Lord, our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for holy is the Lord, our God.
Versicle before the Gospel (Ps 24:4.5): Alleluia. Teach me your paths, my God, and guide me in your truth. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 5,17-19): 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 have come not to abolish but to fulfill»

Fr. Miquel MASATS i Roca (Girona, Spain)

Today, we listen to the Lord saying: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets (…) but to fulfill” (Mt 5:17). In today's Gospel, Jesus teaches us that the Old Testament is part of the Divine Revelation: First, God made himself known to men through the prophets. The chosen People gathered on Saturdays in the synagogue to listen to God's Word. And just as a good Jew knew the Scriptures and put them into practice, we Christians should frequently meditate —if possible, every day— upon the Scriptures.

In Jesus we have the plenitude of Revelation. He is the Verb, God's Word, that has become flesh, and dwelt among us (cf. Jn 1:14) to let us know He is God and how He loves us. God wants of man a response of love, expressed upon the fulfillment of his teachings: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” (Jn 14:15).

We can find a good explanation of today's Gospel in St. John's first letter: “For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome” (1Jn 5:3). To keep God's commandments means that we truly love him through our deeds. Love is not only a feeling; love also wants deeds, deeds of love, to live the double precept of charity.

Jesus teaches us the malice of scandal: “Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:19). Because —as St. John says— “Whoever says, ‘I know him,’ but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1Jn 2:4).

At the same time, He shows us how important good example is: “But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:19). Good example is the first element of the Christian Apostolate.