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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 15.03.2023

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Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 15.03.2023

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DEUTERONOMY 4: 1, 5 – 9

Moses spoke to the people, saying, “And now, O Israel, give heed to the statutes and the ordinances which I teach you, and do them; that you may live, and go in and take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, gives you. Behold, I have taught you statutes and ordinances, as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. ‘Keep them and do them; for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him? And what great nation is there, that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law which I set before you this day? “Only take heed, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children.”

The Word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM
Psalm 147: 12 – 13, 15 – 16, 19 – 20 (R.) 12a

R/. O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord!

O Jerusalem, glorify the Lord!
O Sion, praise your God!
He has strengthened the bars of your gates;
he has blessed your children within you. R/.

He sends out his word to the earth,
and swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow like wool;
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes. R/.

He reveals his word to Jacob;
to Israel, his decrees and judgements.
He has not dealt thus with other nations;
he has not taught them his judgements. R/.

VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL
John 6: 63c, 68c

Glory and praise to you, O Christ.
Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life; you have the words of eternal life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ.

GOSPEL
He who does them and teaches them shall be called great.
MATTHEW 5: 17 – 19

At that time: 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 fulfil them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

GOSPEL REFLECTION: The Height of the New Law


March 15, 2023

“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.” (Matthew 5:17–18)

The Old Law, the law from the Old Testament, prescribed various moral precepts, as well as ceremonial precepts for worship. Jesus makes it clear that He is not abolishing all that God taught through Moses and the Prophets. This is because the New Testament is the culmination and completion of the Old Testament. Thus, nothing of old was abolished; it was fulfilled and brought to completion.

The moral precepts of the Old Testament were laws that flowed primarily from human reason. It made sense that one should not kill, steal, commit adultery, lie, etc. It also made sense that God should be honored and respected. The Ten Commandments and the other moral laws still hold today. But Jesus brings us much further. He not only called us to go much deeper in the keeping of these commandments, He also promised the gift of grace so that they could be fulfilled. Thus, “Thou shall not kill” is deepened to the requirement of complete and total forgiveness of those who persecute us.

It’s interesting to note that the new depth of the moral law Jesus gives actually goes beyond human reason. “Thou shall not kill” makes sense to almost everyone, but “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” is a new moral law that makes sense only by the help of grace. But without grace, the natural human mind alone cannot arrive at this new commandment.

This is extremely helpful to understand, because oftentimes we go through life relying upon our human reason alone when it comes to making moral decisions. And though our human reason will always direct us away from the most obvious moral failures, it will be insufficient alone to guide us to the heights of moral perfection. Grace is necessary for this high calling to make sense. Only by grace can we understand and fulfill the call to take up our crosses and follow Christ.

Reflect, today, upon your own calling to perfection. If it doesn’t make sense to you how God can expect perfection of you, then pause and reflect upon the fact that you are right—it doesn’t make sense to human reason alone! Pray that your human reason will be flooded with the light of grace so that you will be able to not only understand your high calling to perfection but that you will also be given the grace you need to achieve it.

PRAYER:
My most high Jesus, You have called us to a new height of holiness. You have called us to perfection. Enlighten my mind, dear Lord, so that I may understand this high calling and pour forth Your grace, so that I may embrace my moral duty to the fullest extent. Jesus, I trust in You.

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