Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Share On


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 novelty of the Gospel is not about breaking with the biblical tradition of the First Testament. On the contrary, Jesus clearly affirms that he has come to fulfil the covenant that God has established with his people and which finds its codification in the Law and the Prophets. The entire love story that God has woven with His people, from Abraham to the Baptist, finds in Jesus its fulfilment and its full realization. That love that urged God himself to come down to free His people from the slavery of Egypt, to accompany them on the long journey in the desert and in the following centuries, reached the summit with Jesus. The Letter to the Hebrews writes it very clearly: "Long ago God spoke to our ancestors in many and various ways by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son" (Heb 1:1-2). Jesus does not erase past history, he brings it to completion. So it is with the biblical texts. Jesus does not erase them, if anything, he descends into the depths to capture the spark of God and make it shine in its purest brilliance. We could say that in every word of Scripture there is the spark of God. For this reason it must not be lost. And every time it is lost, that spark is lost with it. That is why Jesus says: "Until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass." The recommendation of Francis of Assisi to his friars to collect every little piece of parchment that has fallen on the ground comes to mind: "It may contain some words of the Gospel," he said. And Jesus adds: "Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, .... will be called least in the kingdom of heaven." Jesus asks that all of Scripture be accepted and become light for believers. Following the Master, the disciples must also bring to completion what is written in the Scriptures in everyday life. And we can sum up the heart of the biblical pages, the thread that binds them all, in the exhortation that Jesus makes at the end of his discourse: " Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." And perfection is love.