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

As can be seen in this Gospel passage from Matthew, Jesus is well aware of the importance of the law. And he clearly affirms: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil." The evangelist, who is probably in a dispute with Christians who considered the law less important, reports Jesus' affirmation that he did not come to abolish the Scriptures, but to bring them to fulfilment, from Abraham to Moses and the Prophets. That is to say that there is a reference to Jesus in every page of Scripture, in every "yod" (the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet). The entire story of God's love for his people culminates with Jesus. Consequently, for the Christian community, Jesus becomes the interpretative key of every page of the Old Testament. The story of God's love that traverses every page of the Old Testament finds its culmination in the story of Jesus. In this sense, Christians affirm that Gospel love is the fulfilment of the Law, God's limitless love for us that led Jesus all the way to the Cross. And so, we can say that anyone who loves fulfils the Law of the Lord. Every page of the Bible should be listened to, because every one of them contains a moment of the history of Gods' extraordinary love for men and women. Every page should be meditated on and cherished with care and devotion. We should wish for true devotion for this holy Book that contains the Word of God to spring forth. Just as there is devotion for the Eucharist, so should there be devotion for the Holy Scriptures. And it is beautiful that Pope Francis urges every diocesan Church to establish a "feast of the Bible." And we can remember the example of Saint Francis, who exhorted his brothers to always pick up pieces of paper that fell to the ground (the books of the time often had transcriptions of biblical passages) in case they contained the words of the Gospel. According to the Teacher, the disciples must welcome every word of Holy Scripture into their hearts and bring them to fulfilment in their daily lives.