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 from the first of Moses’ speeches in Deuteronomy (4:1.5-9), and it emphasizes the fulfilment of the law of the Lord: “So that you may live… You must observe them diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples.” Scripture proposes a close relationship between the law and life, the observation of the commandments and human happiness. In the Gospel passage we 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.” He came to fulfil all the Scriptures of the Old Testament, from Abraham, to Moses, to the Prophets. What does it mean that Jesus is their fulfilment? It means that in each page of the Scripture, we may say in each “iota” (which is the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet) there is a reference to Jesus. Jesus becomes the key to interpret all of Holy Scripture, even the Old Testament. In Jesus, the story of the love of God that runs through every page of the Bible reaches its climax. This is why the fulfilment of the law is Gospel love, the love which led Jesus to the cross. Indeed, we could say that anyone who loves fulfils the Law of the Lord. We must listen to every page of the Bible, for they contain the story of God’s extraordinary love for men and women. We must cherish and meditate on every page with care and devotion. In fact, it is urgent for us to develop a new devotion for this holy Book that contains the Word of God. Just as there is devotion for the Eucharist, we should establish devotion for the Holy Scriptures. St. Francis’ example of exhorting the brothers to collect pieces of paper fallen to the ground because they could contain words of the Gospel is beautiful. Following the Teacher, the disciples should welcome each word of the Holy Scriptures into their hearts and carry them out in their daily lives.