Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 11.03.2022
EZEKIEL 18: 21 – 28
Thus says the Lord God: “If a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live; he shall not die. None of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does the same abominable things that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of the righteous deeds which he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, he shall die. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just. ’ Hear now, O house of Israel: Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it; for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. Again, when a wicked man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful and right, he shall save his life. Because he considered and turned away from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 130: 1 – 8 (R) 3.
R/. If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice!
O let your ears be attentive
to the sound of my pleading. R/.
If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
Lord, who could stand?
But with you is found forgiveness,
that you may be revered. R/.
I long for you, O Lord,
my soul longs for his word.
My soul hopes in the Lord
more than watchmen for daybreak.
More than watchmen for daybreak,
let Israel hope for the Lord. R/.
For with the Lord there is mercy,
in him is plentiful redemption.
It is he who will redeem
Israel from all its iniquities. R/.
Ezekiel 18: 31.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have committed, says the Lord, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
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 everyone 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.
REFLECTION: Being Real, Being Honest, Being Sincere
March 11, 2022
“I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)
Who wants to enter the Kingdom of Heaven? Certainly all of us do! That should be our primary goal in life. And, along with that goal, we should seek to bring as many people with us as possible.
Too often we fail to see this as an ultimate goal in life. We fail to keep our eyes on Heaven as the primary reason we are here on Earth. It’s very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day satisfactions of what we may call the “mini goals” of life. These are goals such as entertainment, money, success, and the like. And we can often make these mini goals our only goals at times.
So how about you? What is your goal? What is it you strive for and seek throughout your day? If you honestly examine your actions throughout each day you may be surprised that you are actually seeking unimportant and passing mini goals more than you realize.
Jesus gives us one bit of clear direction in this passage above on how to attain that ultimate goal of life—the Kingdom of Heaven. The path He points to is righteousness.
What is righteousness? It’s simply being real. Being authentic. Not fake. And most especially, it’s being real in our love of God. The Pharisees struggled with pretending they were holy and good followers of the will of God. But they were not very good at it. They may have been good at the acting job, and they may have convinced themselves and others, but they could not fool Jesus. Jesus could see through the fake veneer and perceive that which was underneath. He could see that their “righteousness” was only a show for themselves and others.
Reflect, today, upon your own righteousness—your honesty and sincerity in striving for holiness. If you want to daily keep Heaven as your ultimate goal, then you must also strive to make each daily mini goal an honest attempt at holiness. We must daily seek Christ with all sincerity and truth in all the small things of life. We must then let that sincerity shine through, showing what truly lies beneath. To be righteous, in the truest sense, means we sincerely seek God throughout our day and make that sincerity the constant goal of our life.
Lord of true righteousness, make me righteous. Please help me to be sincere in all that I do and all that I seek in life. Help me to love You and to love You each and every moment of the day. Jesus, I trust in You.