Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

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

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The newness of the Gospel that Jesus came to give us is not proposed as a complete break with the Biblical tradition. On the contrary, Jesus clearly affirms that he has come to bring to fulfilment the covenant that God established with his people. The entire history of love that God has woven with his people up to this point finds its climax, its true fulfilment, in Jesus. The love that made God come down from heaven to free his people from the slavery of Egypt, that drove the Lord to accompany Israel on the long pilgrimage in the desert and through all the following centuries, now finds its fulfilment in Jesus. With Jesus, God's manifestation on earth reaches its fulfilment. Jesus concludes the word of God that has resounded on earth since Abraham. Jesus does not bypass the rules set down by God or erase them. He gives them greater depth. He does not even change an "iota" (the smallest letter of the Greek alphabet), because not a single word of Scripture should be disregarded, not even the smallest. Following the Teacher, the disciple should bring what is written in the Bible to fulfilment every day. We can find the heart of the pages of the Bible, the thread that binds them all together, in the exhortation Jesus makes at the end of this sermon: "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (v. 48). This commandment was already given to the people of Israel in Leviticus: "You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy" (Lev 19:2).