Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Matthew 5, 17-19

'Do not imagine that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete them.

In truth I tell you, till heaven and earth disappear, not one dot, not one little stroke, is to disappear from the Law until all its purpose is achieved.

Therefore, anyone who infringes even one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be considered the least in the kingdom of Heaven; but the person who keeps them and teaches them will be considered great in the kingdom of Heaven.


Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The first reading of today’s Mass is taken from Moses’ first speech as reported in Deuteronomy (4:1, 5-9). In his speech, Moses emphasizes the importance of fulfilling the Lord’s laws "so that you may live... for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples." Scripture establishes a close relationship between the law and life, between observing the commandments and human happiness. Thus, in Gospel passage we just heard, Jesus affirms: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil." Jesus came to bring all of the Scriptures of the Old Testament to fulfilment, from Abraham and Moses to the Prophets. What does it mean to say that he is their fulfilment? It means that in every page of Scripture, we could say in every "iota" (which is the smallest letter in the Greek alphabet) there is a reference to Jesus. Jesus becomes the interpretative key of the Holy Scriptures, including the Old Testament. In fact, in Jesus the story of God’s love that traverses every page of the Bible reaches its climax. Consequently, the fulfilment of the law is found in Gospel love, the love that brought Jesus all the way to cross. It can be said that anyone who loves fulfils the Lord’s law. We need to listen to every page of the Bible, precisely because every page contains the story of God’s extraordinary love for humanity. We need to meditate on every page with care and devotion. It is urgent that a new devotion for this holy Book that contains the Word of God be born. Just as there is devotion for the Eucharist there needs to be devotion for the Holy Scriptures. Saint Francis gave us a beautiful example in telling his brothers to pick up pieces of paper that had fallen on the ground because they might contain words from the Gospels. Following her Teacher, the disciple needs to welcome every word of the Holy Scriptures in her heart and bring them to fulfilment in her daily life.