February 16, 2014

The Gospel Today 

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

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 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.
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.”

Reflection (Sem. Primitivo Eublera, Jr.):

     While reflecting in today’s Gospel, I immediately recalled my thirst to know the law. As I was oriented in an environment of religious people, there was that reverberating voice from within, that inner craving in me, to learn something and be enlightened as to the intricacy between the human law and the divine law. My work during that time, allowed me the privilege to investigate actual court cases of clients. It even reached to a point that I thought I must immediately enroll myself in at least the basics, select a school that is also good in reputation and learn this noble subject, and considering my own time table, that time, to work while study. Then, I just found myself already studying the human law.

     On the first days of my studies especially in the area of Criminal Law, I immediately told myself, everyone must do what I was doing: to enroll if not learn the basics of the human laws. Its importance was for me, very indispensable because in our every day life, each one of us encounters laws.

     Today’s Gospel reminds us that the fulfillment of the law is Jesus. The fullness of the laws are the teachings of Jesus. Therefore laws that contradict the teachings of Jesus are not good laws. What is the purpose of law? to obtain peace, true peace. If we just follow the commandments of Jesus, we would be at peace. How many peace pacts, treaties, agreements between peoples and nations that were left useless? Do we really have the authentic peace? If we follow the ways of Jesus, His commandments which are summarized into a single word “LOVE”, surely we would have authentic peace, the ultimate end of laws.

     Let us ask the intercession of Our Lady as Queen of Peace to bring our concerns to Jesus, the King of Peace. Amen!

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