Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

Matthew 5,20-26

'For I tell you, if your uprightness does not surpass that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never get into the kingdom of Heaven. 'You have heard how it was said to our ancestors, You shall not kill; and if anyone does kill he must answer for it before the court. But I say this to you, anyone who is angry with a brother will answer for it before the court; anyone who calls a brother "Fool" will answer for it before the Sanhedrin; and anyone who calls him "Traitor" will answer for it in hell fire. So then, if you are bringing your offering to the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar, go and be reconciled with your brother first, and then come back and present your offering. Come to terms with your opponent in good time while you are still on the way to the court with him, or he may hand you over to the judge and the judge to the officer, and you will be thrown into prison. In truth I tell you, you will not get out till you have paid the last penny.

 

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Praise to you, o Lord, King of eternal glory

The passage from the Gospel of Matthew is part of the great Sermon on the Mount. Jesus has just said that he did not come to abolish but to fulfil the law. Therefore, he does not distance himself from the law; rather he wants to recognize in it the profound thought of God, His very heart. The justice about which Jesus is speaking is putting in practice God's limitless love. Jesus proposes a new way to understand relationships among men and women. He reveals the crucial crux that substantiates the feeling of hatred towards the other: it is a destroying power that leads to conceive the other as an enemy and therefore an adversary to be eliminate. Hatred starts from small things, as rage that too often poisons our contemporary society. And words that seem innocuous, like "stupid" or "crazy", end up destroying the social fabric. Jesus affirms that love is the fulfilment of the law and that only love can go beyond enmity. We have to move from negative precepts (do not get angry, do not call someone crazy, do not murder), to the positive viewpoint of friendship. Love is the new strength that Jesus came to give men and women so that it may innervate their relationships. The power of human relationships is what helps building the future of humanity. It is a central dimension for Jesus: love among us is so important that Jesus says that if it is lacking, worship to God must also stop. "Mercy" is more important than "sacrifice;" and the relationship with God created in worship cannot be separated from a loving relationship with men and women. It is love that should rule over our actions. This is why Jesus recommends that, when there are conflicts, we should come to terms with each other instead of going to court. This is not just in order to avoid prison, but more importantly to live a fraternal style of life.