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Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Saturday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (2Cor 5:14-21): Brothers and sisters: The love of Christ impels us, once we have come to the conviction that one died for all; therefore, all have died. He indeed died for all, so that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. Consequently, from now on we regard no one according to the flesh; even if we once knew Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know him so no longer. So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come.

And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting their trespasses against them and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him.
Responsorial Psalm: 102
R/. The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the Lord, o my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, o my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

He pardons all your iniquities; he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion.

He will not always chide, nor does he keep his wrath forever. Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes.

For as the heavens are high above the earth, so surpassing is his kindness toward those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us.
Versicle before the Gospel (Ps 118:36.29): Alleluia. Incline my heart, o God, to your decrees; and favor me with your law. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mt 5,33-37): Jesus said to his disciples, «You have also heard that people were told in the past: Do not break your oath; an oath sworn to the Lord must be kept. But I tell you this: do not take oaths. Do not swear by the heavens, for they are God's throne, nor by the earth, because it is his footstool, nor by Jerusalem because it is the city of the great king. Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black. Say yes when you mean yes and say no when you mean no. Anything else you say comes from the devil».

«Say yes when you mean yes and say no when you mean no»

Fr. Jordi PASCUAL i Bancells (Salt, Girona, Spain)

Today, Jesus goes on commenting the Commandments. The Israelites had a great respect for the name of God, a fearful veneration, for they knew that names refer to persons, and God deserves all respect, all honor and all glory, by thought, word and deed. This is why —bearing in mind that swearing is to place God as witness to the truth of what we are saying— the Law commanded them: «Do not break your oath; an oath sworn to the Lord must be kept» (Mt 5:33). But Jesus comes to perfect the Law (and, therefore, to perfect us too by following the Law), and goes a step further: «Do not take oaths. Do not swear by the Heavens (...), nor by the earth (...)» (Mt 5:34). We cannot actually say that to swear is bad, per se, but to make an oath legitimate a few conditions are needed first, such as a fair, grave and serious cause (for instance, a lawsuit), and that your oath be true and good.

But the Lord says even more: «Say yes when you mean yes and say no when you mean no» (Mt 5:37). That is, He invites us to live in truth on every instance, to conform our thinking, our words and our deeds to the truth. But, the truth is what? This is the great question, already formulated in the Gospel, during the judgment against Jesus, in Pilate's own words, which so many thinkers, throughout time, have been trying to answer to. The Truth is God. Whoever lives by pleasing God, by abiding by his Commandments, lives in Truth. The Rector of Ars says: «The reason why so few Christians act with the exclusive purpose of pleasing God is because they are immersed in the most terrible ignorance. O God, how many good deeds are lost for Heaven!». It would be good to ponder over it.

We must develop ourselves, to read the Gospel and the Catechism. And afterwards, we must live by what we have learnt.