FIRST READING
God has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 3:15-4:1.3-6)

Brethren: To this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over the minds of the Israelites; but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the likeness of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM  Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14 (R. cf. 1 0b)
R/. The Lord’s glory will dwell in our land.

I will hear what the Lord God speaks;
he speaks of peace for his people and his faithful.
His salvation is near for those who fear him,
and his glory will dwell in our land. R.

Merciful love and faithfulness have met;
justice and peace have kissed.
Faithfulness shall spring from the earth,
and justice look down from heaven. R.

R/. The Lord’s glory will dwell in our land.

Also the Lord will bestow his bounty,
and our earth shall yield its increase.
Justice will march before him,
and guide his steps on the way. R.

 

ALLELUIA John 13:34
Alleluia. A new commandment I give to you, says the Lord, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
”Every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgement.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 5:20-26)

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgement.’ But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgement; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, ‘You fool! ‘ shall be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison; truly, I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

Holiness is not simply compliance with a legal code but personal transformation. Jesus fleshes out this teaching through a set of six examples, showing that the Law of Moses did not go far enough towards internal change. It is important not only to avoid murder but to expel from within us the brooding anger that could lead to it. By harming others in subtle ways we could be as fearsome as murderers. Anger can break the bonds of community without actual murder. However deeply we try to bury anger, it surfaces in different ways, hindering our acceptance of the Gospel message and the action of God’s spirit. To be free we must learn to reconcile; reconciliation enhances our spiritual vitality.

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