The Spirit of the Law
Sunday, February 16, 2020
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Sir 15:15–20
2nd Reading: 1 Cor 2:6–10
Gospel: Mt 5:17–37 (or Mt 5:20–22a, 27–28, 33–34a, 37)
Jesus said to his disciples, “Do not think that I have come to annul the Law and the Prophets. I have not come to annul them but to fulfill them. I tell you this: as long as heaven and earth last, not the smallest letter or dot in the Law will change until all is fulfilled.
So then, whoever breaks the least important of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be the least in the kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys them, and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the kingdom of heaven.
I tell you then, if you are not righteous in a much broader way than the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.
You have heard that it was said to our people in the past: Do not commit murder; anyone who does kill will have to face trial. But now I tell you: whoever gets angry with a brother or sister will have to face trial. Whoever insults a brother or sister deserves to be brought before the council. Whoever calls a brother or a sister “Fool!” deserves to be thrown into the fire of hell. So, if you are about to offer your gift at the altar, and you remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar, go at once and make peace with him, and then come back and offer your gift to God.
Don’t forget this: be reconciled with your opponent quickly when you are together on the way to court. Otherwise he will turn you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the police, who will put you in jail. There you will stay, until you have paid the last penny.
You have heard that it was said: Do not commit adultery. But I tell you this: anyone who looks at a woman too lustfully has in fact already committed adultery with her in his heart.
So, if your right eye causes you to sin, pull it out and throw it away! It is much better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away! It is better for you to lose a part of your body than to have your whole body thrown into hell. (…)
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
Today’s Liturgy of the Word puts together several passages that reflect Jesus’ mind in regard to the observance of the Law. To him rigid compliance of the Law is not in keeping with its spirit and definitely not in accord with the intention of its Maker. For the letter kills; it is the Spirit that gives life (2 Cor 3:4-6). —(Atty.) Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles Jr., JD, DM, MMExM, MAPM, LPT, REB
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