Sunday, February 12, 2017
Sirach 15: 15 - 20
If you choose you can keep the commandments; it is loyalty to do his will. There are set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand. Before man are life and death, whichever he chooses shall be given him. Immense is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power, and all seeing. The eyes of God see all he has made; he understands man's every deed, No man does he command to sin, to none does he give strength for lies.
Psalm 119: 1 - 2, 4 - 5, 17 - 18, 33 - 34
Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord. Happy are they who observe his decrees, who seek him with all their heart.
You have commanded that your precepts be diligently kept. Oh, that I might be firm in the ways of keeping your statutes!
Be to your servants, that I may live and keep your words. Open my eyes, that I may consider the wonders of your law.
Instruct me, O Lord, in the way of your statutes, that I may exactly observe them. Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart.
First letter of Paul to the Corinthians 2: 6 - 10
There is, to be sure, a certain wisdom which we express among the spiritually mature. It is not a wisdom of this age, however, not of the rulers of this age, who are men headed for destruction. No, what we utter is God's wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom. God planned it before all ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age knew the mystery; if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. Of this wisdom it is written: "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love him."
Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit. The Spirit scrutinizes all maters, even the deep things of God.
Gospel of Matthew 5: 17 - 37
Jesus said to his disciples:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets, I have come, not to abolish them, but to fulfill them. Of this much I assure you: until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter of the law, not the smallest part of a letter, shall be done away with until it all comes true. That is why whoever breaks the least significant of these commands and teaches others to do so shall be called least in the kingdom of God. Whoever fulfills and teaches these commands shall be great in the kingdom of God. I tell you, unless your holiness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees you shall not enter the kingdom of God.
You have heard the commandment imposed on your forefathers, 'You shall not commit murder; every murderer shall be liable to judgment.' What I say to you is: everyone who grows angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; any man who uses abusive language toward this brother shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and if he holds him in contempt he risks the fires of Gehenna. If you bring your gift to the altar and there recall that your brother has anything against you, leave your gift at the altar, go first to be reconciled with you brother, and then come and offer your gift. Lose no time; settle with your opponent while on your way to court with him. Otherwise your opponent may hand you over to the judge, who will hand you over to the guard, who will throw you into prison. I warn you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.
You have heard the commandment, 'You shall not commit adultery.' What I say to you is: anyone who looks lustfully at a woman has already committed adultery with her in his thoughts. If your right eye is your trouble, gouge it out and throw it away! Better to lose part of your body than to have it all cast into Gehenna. Again, if your right hand is your trouble, cut it off and throw it away! Better to lose part of your body than to have it all cast into Gehenna.
It was also said, 'Whenever a man divorces his wife, he must give her a decree of divorce.' What I say to you is; everyone who divorces his wife - lewd conduct is a separate case - forces her to commit adultery. The man who marries a divorced woman likewise commits adultery.
You have heard the commandment imposed on your forefathers, 'Do not take a false oath; rather, make good to the Lord all your pledges.' What I tell you is: do not swear at all. Do not swear by heaven ( it is God's throne), nor by the earth (it is his footstool), nor by Jerusalem (it is the city of the great King); do not swear by your head (you cannot make a single hair white or black). Say, 'Yes' when you mean 'Yes' and 'No' when you mean 'No.' Anything beyond that is from the evil one.